Texas universities are rethinking the need for standardized test scores

The TEXAS – COVID-19 pandemic has led to a cleansing list of changes in society, introducing a “new normal”. With the rise of distance learning during the spread of the virus in 2020, many Texas universities have changed their admission requirements, making sending ACT and SAT scores optional for students. After some long-term observations of undergraduate admissions data, Texas public universities may say goodbye to this condition.

Some universities already offered an optional test policy because of a state law that allows students in 10% of the high school class to be automatically admitted.

However, as many students struggled with some of the inevitable struggles, the advent of COVID-19 caused a major disruption in the standardized test sites. And although the test sites are reopening, the presentation of these scores is still optional for some.

Under the University of Texas Austin Admissions Policy, high school students who were expected to enroll in the fall of 2023 will not be required to attach standardized test scores to their application. “This change was initially made in the fall of 2021 to allow the university to better serve potential students, so that the limitations of COVID-19-related tests will not affect the ability of students to apply,” the university wrote.

Although COVID infection rates have dropped significantly, universities have seen some positive results in relieving students of the concern that standardized testing often causes.

In a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article, Chris Reed, executive director of admissions at Texas A&M University at College Station, said: “It was an opportunity that many schools have been grateful for. The pandemic created an opportunity when it was right to do so … Now we have a lively set of data to evaluate some of these hypotheses.

Texas A&M, like UT Austin, pushed its policy to 2023, but in the spring. Texas State University has rejected the requirement for SAT and ACT scores for all 2022 terms. Texas Tech University has implemented the policy extension until 2025.

Data from some universities showed that they were enrolling in a more minority with the optional test policy.

The University of Texas at Arlington cited a rise in black student admissions following its decision to remove ACT and SAT scores, according to Star-Telegram. Enrollment of black primary school students rose by 34% from 519 to 694 in the autumn of 2021. Fort Worth named Texas State as the other university with a 6% increase in the number of black students.

Scientists and experts around the world have reported racial bias in standardized tests, and the data often show children’s educational disadvantages depending on their collective socioeconomic background. Although the elimination of standardized tests, which cannot be conclusive, will increase college enrollment in minorities, the results of UT in Arlington and Texas State continue.

Ironically, HBCU at Texas Southern University in Texas and Prairie View A&M University reinstated the admission policy to require standardized test scores. The Houston TSU only requires test scores from applicants with 2.5 GPA or less. For Prairie View, all first-time applicants must submit test scores.

“The test-taking trend has opened up a lot more opportunities for low-income students than for those who come from institutes that emphasize testing like those with more resources,” Sara Urquidez said in a statement to the Academic Success Program Dallas. Star-Telegram. “But I don’t think it has changed the basic question of college availability for low-income students.”

Although many Texas universities still claim that test scores are used as a resource for merit-based scholarships and are open to those who do not, Urquidez told Star-Telegram that these scholarships are offered in moderation to those who do not have test scores. So the question arises: “How can universities actually take elective tests if there are restrictions on students who choose not to submit scores?”

Many educators have rejected the need for standardized exams, but most are still afraid that others will climb the board because they are stuck in their path and change the current admission policy for so long is not so difficult.

Texas universities are rethinking the need for standardized test scores

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