Courtesy of Freepik
The CSU Board of Trustees voted to remove standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT from undergraduate admissions during their March session.
The Cal State system had previously suspended the standardized testing requirements for undergraduate admissions for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the CSU continues to adapt and innovate to the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains committed to providing equitable access to a quality university degree,” CSU Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management April Grommo said in a CSU Board of Trustees meeting.
The CSU Board of Trustees is reformulating how they judge student applications for admissions, with a more holistic view of the student’s college readiness.
“There are a lot of ways that we can view a student’s readiness for college and for SDSU,” Vice President of Enrollment Management Stefan Hyman said. “We look at the high school record as the primary understanding of their preparedness. That includes cumulative GPA, which at a national level is the best indicator of a student’s success in college.”
Hyman also noted admissions officers would look closely at the courses a student has taken in high school and how that might prepare them for the major they have applied for at SDSU.
“If you apply as a STEM major, then we’re going to look more closely at a student’s preparation in STEM classes and math classes especially. If they’re looking to go into the humanities, we’ll look more closely at their humanities and social sciences classes,” Hyman said.
Students will still be able to submit standardized test scores with their application if they choose to. However, scores will be used only to determine placement in language arts and math courses and will not affect their admission to the university that they apply to.
This decision comes as criticism of the influence of factors such as family income and wealth on standardized test scores. Research has shown that race and income impact a students performance on standardized tests.
“I am grateful for the change because it allowed me to be admitted to SDSU,” fourth year Business major Elena W. said. “I am a low income student and there is a major gap between students who can afford the money and time to study for the SAT and students who can’t.”
Nonprofit organizations, such as Student Voice, have been campaigning for college admissions to go test free for several years due to the stressors that these tests place on students and their families. In April 2020, Student Voice held a virtual conference with thousands of students and representatives from universities calling for test free admission policies.
More than 1,800 colleges and universities across the country have amended their admission policies to eliminate standardized test scores as a factor for considering a student for admission. Websites such as FairTest, founded by the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, keep an updated list of schools which have test optional admissions.
“Standardized tests are not inherently biased, but the way their scores are used do not show a full picture of a student’s background or individual capability,” Elena W. said. “If you are reading this and your parents paid for a tutor, helped you study, cared about your SAT success, or even knew what the SAT was, you had a privilege that not everyone had.”
Editor’s note: In a previously published version of this article April Grommo was quoted. We have added that she was quoted from the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in March for greater accuracy and clarity. The Daily Aztec regrets this error.