Harvard College has joined peers in a major — albeit temporary — shift in college admissions: It’s dropping the requirement for standardized testing for the class of 2025, as the pandemic has restricted access to the SAT and ACT.
For these institutions in particular, I think it’s a waste of time.
I’m not a big fan of testing as the “end all” of educational evaluation. As my Computational Fluid Dynamics prof noted after a disastrous midterm, testing isn’t ideal but it’s the best we’ve got. I don’t think that testing is an entire way to evaluate students, which is why I’ve always weighted my homework–with the effort to prevent being Chegged–more than many of my colleagues.
But really, with their admissions process, standardized testing for any Ivy League school is a waste of time. That’s because they’re ultimately looking for the “balanced” person, an approach they came up with to trim the number of overachieving Jews they would have otherwise admitted (and one they still use against Asians, now with court approval.) So why throw in standardized tests, with all of the inequities associated with them, to waste the time of admissions officers when they have more “important” considerations?