By Aurora Rivera
Los Angeles, CA
I am a rising senior at an under-resourced charter school in Los Angeles. Our school currently offers an SAT-prep course that all students are required to take. Unfortunately, the teachers in this course were inexperienced and didn’t prepare us sufficiently for the exam. I understood at the time that SAT and ACT scores were a major factor in college admissions, so as a result I became extremely stressed and worried after the class. I was scared about not being able to compete with other students who were better prepared and had higher test scores. My “college preparatory” school made me feel as if I didn’t have a chance in the battle for college admissions.
Bates College conducted a 20-year study about whether making SAT scores optional in college admissions affected the quality of admitted students. William C. Hiss, Bates’ former vice president of admissions, asked, “Does standardized testing narrow access to higher education, significantly reducing the pool of students who would succeed if admitted?” The study found that the difference in graduation rates between applicants who did and did not submit test scores was 0.1 percent. and the difference in GPAs was 0.05 on a four-point scale.