We had a few Old Forum threads on this, but I thought this might be the best one to link to, since I’m specifically talking about higher education admissions in this first post.
Teen Vogue had a compelling write up of while the SAT and ACT should be optional.
I don’t think I agree that these tests should be optional, because grades are a really bad measure of one’s understanding of academic material. Although I can’t dispute the eugenicist origins of the test,
there needs to be something more than grades to measure a student’s academic aptitude. Grades are swayed by local standards, amount of grunt work a student is able to do, and compatibility with teaching styles of individual teachers. I was a straight D student, but that had more to do with the school I was in not working for me, and got an 1820 on the SAT (a number I remember 5 years later because it happens to be the closest score to 1819, the year the Adams-Onis treaty was signed. Don’t pretend to be surprised.) In a situation where students apply to colleges all over the country, there needs to be some sort of national standard with which we measure a student’s mastery of a certain set of information. While I agree the SAT and ACT are held in too high regard in the upper eschelons of education, I still think we need some standard with which to measure academic proficiency, and grades will never be that.