Colleges should make admissions decisions without requiring the SAT or ACT, says a group of deans led by Harvard's admissions chief in a yearlong study that concluded standardized tests distort students' high school experiences, exacerbate class disparities, and enrich only the billion-dollar test prep industry. Instead, say the admissions officers, colleges should place greater emphasis on high school coursework and introduce a new, broader achievement test.
"It would be much better for the country to have students focusing on high school courses," Harvard's dean told the New York Times, "instead of spending enormous amounts of time trying to game the SAT." Already, more than 280 four-year colleges have stopped requiring standardized tests. The proposed new test would encourage high schools to broaden their curricula—and students would prepare for it by doing coursework, not specialized test training.