The College Board would not respond to a request for comment on the Yale announcement

Dropping the SAT Essay

Yale follows Harvard in ending requirement that students complete portion that is writing of or ACT. University of San Diego makes move that is similar leaving only 25 colleges with all the requirement. More colleges go test optional.

Yale University last week notified counselors who work with high school students that the university will no more require applicants to accomplish the SAT essay or the ACT writing test.

A memo Yale delivered to counselors said the university wished to make the application process easier on those that use the SAT or ACT during school hours. Those administrations frequently do not give students time for the writing test, so students had to join up for the test another time to complete the writing test.

The move comes 3 months after Harvard University announced that it was making the SAT essay or ACT writing test optional. Harvard’s announcement noted that its applicants submit essays included in their applications, so writing remains a part that is crucial of application process.

As the moves by institutions such as Harvard and Yale capture attention, they reflect a more disinclination that is general of leaders toward the writing tests of this SAT and ACT. The Princeton Review, which tracks how many colleges require the test, now identifies only 25 institutions that do so. People with already dropped the requirement include Columbia and Cornell Universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, together with University of Pennsylvania.

The University of north park also recently announced it can no longer require the essay that is SAT ACT writing test. Stephen Pultz, assistant vice president for enrollment management at north park, said via email that «we decided the writing sections are not reliable measures for placement purposes, that will be the way we originally envisioned their use. We’ve had better success with the other chapters of the exams, Advanced Placement exams, and school that is high and grades.»

The school Board first started offering an essay on the SAT in 2005. But many writing experts were highly critical of this format, noting on top of other things so it would not judge whether statements were factually correct. Les Perelman, an MIT writing professor, famously coached students on how best to write ludicrous essays that could receive scores that are high.

In 2014, the school Board announced revisions towards the SAT


With substantial changes to the essay, including the utilization of writing passages to make test takers to cite evidence for opinions in their essays.

Generally, critics of this first form of the writing test agreed that the new version was better, but some continued to question whether the writing test had enough value to justify leading students to get ready for and take it. Some advocates for the essay hoped the noticeable changes would lead more colleges to rely on it as part of the admissions process. But the news from Harvard and Yale, as well as the not enough interest in adding the writing test as a requirement, shows that this is simply not happening.

On its blog, Princeton Review said after Harvard’s decision that the essays ought to be eliminated from the SAT and ACT. As they are theoretically optional, many students feel pressure to take them (and prepare for them), despite the fact that a rather small quantity of colleges actually make use of the scores.

«While over 70 percent of students taking the SAT and more than 50 percent taking the ACT opt in the essay, not really 2 percent of colleges require an essay score,» your blog post says. «Students and taxpayers are sending tens of huge amount of money in to the College Board’s and ACT’s coffers and don’t seem to be getting anything out of it except that an additional source of anxiety in terms of college applications. It is time for the SAT and ACT essays to go.»

While Yale still requires applicants to take either the SAT or ACT for the nonwriting components of the exams, more colleges continue to announce they are going test optional. Among the colleges in recent weeks announcing these policies are Concordia University (St. Paul), Prescott College and Rider University.