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Universities waiving ACT and SAT testing

Posted at 7:00 AM, Jun 23, 2020

MICHIGAN — The Scholastic Aptitude Test, and American College Testing have been around for many decades. They're tools used by colleges and universities to evaluate potential students. But as a result of the pandemic, a lot of schools of higher learning are suspending, waiving or canceling those tests; at least for this year and next.

But not everyone is thrilled about the latest changes to the ACT and SAT, including incoming East Grand Rapids Senior, Ben Sykes. He's been looking forward to taking the tests for a while now.

"I was pretty annoyed because I spent so much time on it. I mean, you spend your entire, basically two months of your life just prepping for the test, only to find out that, you know, Corona has closed it along with many other things, said Sykes. It's not like I'm the only one who's having this problem. And it just kind of stinks because all the effort that you put in."

Due to the current pandemic, a lot of schools across the state and the country have decided to suspend, waive or cancel the tests for now; Eastern Michigan University is among them, and they will look at other factors to evaluate students.

"So, we were looking at the opportunity to take a look carefully at the high school transcript, said Kevin Kucera, he's the Vice President for Enrollment Management at EMU.

"There are also been many studies that have shown that the high school transcript and your high school grade point average is really the best predictor of success in college."

Albion College will do something similar, according to Dr. Hernan Bucheli. "Primarily their their grade point average. Again, that is the kind of the main predictor for students success, time to do so. grade point average along with some cognitive factors, what kind of community service and they've been involved in how they take in college prep courses."

Despite the current changes to the ACT and SAT requirements, Ben Sykes still plans to take them.

"I'm still going to try to submit scores because I want to show them I'm not just a GPA. I mean, they'll get my GPA, my activities, but I want to show them what I'm actually capable of because my GPA doesn't really reflect what I am, what my mental capacity is."

Perhaps a sign of things to come in Michigan, the schools in the University of California system have gone a step further by voting last month to phase out the ACT and SAT requirements over the next four years.

In fact, the tests will be optional through 2024.