Brown University becomes college that is latest to drop SAT, ACT essay for applicants

Brown University this week became the school that is latest to end requiring prospective students to take SAT and ACT essay tests, joining a burgeoning directory of selective universites and colleges which have eliminated the necessity this current year.

Brown was the Ivy that is last League to require the writing assignment. Princeton University dropped the necessity earlier this month. Less than 25 schools now mandate students to submit essay scores included in their college applications, relating to some estimations.

Brown officials said the essay requirement may pose an impediment to students from low-income families. Students with lesser means often benefit from free SAT testing offered through the school trip to nearly 8,000 schools across the country, in accordance with the university.

But the free offerings do not always are the portion that is writing of exam, which university officials feared could dissuade students from applying to schools that need it.

“It’s important to allow students from low-income families to use the tests already offered by their school districts and never place an undue burden on them to go in separately outside of normal school hours,” Logan Powell, Brown’s dean of admission, said in a news release. “Our goal is the fact that for almost any student that is talented in Brown, the application form process is certainly not a deterrent.”

Brian Clark, a university spokesman, said Brown will continue to assess students’ writing abilities based on how they fare in writing-intensive school that is high and through college application essay questions.

“Standardized test performance is just one point of measurement, so we glance at a wide range of factors when considering each applicant for admission,” he said.

Applicants may still voluntarily submit essay scores, and also the university encourages students to submit a graded paper from a humanities or social sciences class if they apply.

The essay tests emerged more than a dozen years ago in hopes they might reshape college admission testing and gives an instrument to measure a student’s potential.

The faculty Board, which runs the SAT, mandated a writing that is 25-minute in addition into the main test 13 years back and raised the utmost total score to 2400. The company overhauled the test in 2016, reverting to a premier score of 1600 and scoring an optional essay that is 50-minute.

Zach Goldberg, a College Board spokesman, said in a contact the SAT that is redesigned requires students to show writing skills. Within the writing and language percentage of the test, students are asked to read passages and answer questions that are multiple-choice how or if perhaps the text should be revised.

“Everyone agrees that writing essays and developing research that is extensive are necessary for college readiness and success,” Goldberg said. “We genuinely believe that the SAT Essay provides a complement that is strong the multiple-choice section by asking students to show reading, analysis, writing, and critical thinking skills in the context of analyzing a provided source text.”

The ACT’s 40-minute essay has long been optional and does not factor to the test’s main score, that will be 36. Wayne Camara, the ACT’s Horace Mann research chair, said the ongoing company acknowledges the essay has drawbacks and upsides – it doesn’t measure other kinds of writing, such as longer pieces students may develop with time, but Camara said it can offer universities and colleges an approach to compare students across schools.

“Colleges, universities certainly have freedom to decide what measures they want to make use of to judge candidates for admissions,” he said, adding about 50 percent of students who take the ACT select the writing assignment. “We always felt that the essay has benefits as limitations.”