Should colleges drop the SAT/ACT essay test?

In a piece published yesterday on the Inside Higher Ed’s blog, John Warner celebrates Yale’s dropping of the SAT/ACT essay requirement.

Yale joins Harvard, and a growing number of colleges, in getting rid of the standardized essay requirement in admission.

While providing a “level playing field” is a laudable goal, Warner writes, the essay test itself is “brutally bad.”

The problem is, Warner states, that the SAT/ACT essay is a writing simulation and doesn’t engage students with the actualities of the writing process.

The test requires students to write an essay on a topic with no preparation, no access to outside material, and no time to think through the process.

For Warner, writing “is an act of thinking,” and constraining the essay in the matter that the SAT/ACT essay test does, harms students.

For more on Warner’s position on the SAT/ACT essay, read the original article.

So, what do you think? Does the SAT/ACT essay level the playing field and give students a chance to show their writing skill? Or does it constrain students, doing more harm than good?

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