• University of Puget Sound offering 'no-test option'

    By: Kevin McCarty


    SEATTLE - The University of Puget Sound is joining a growing list of schools that will allow students to use more than just an SAT or ACT test score when they apply for admission.
    They can even opt out of having their standardized tests as part of their admission application and write two short essays instead.
    “Each a hundred words that are going to help us assess characteristics that are more of a personal nature, character, experience,” said Jenny Rickard, the university's admissions vice president.
    According to the website fairtest.org, more than 160 colleges and universities nationwide offer the no-test option.
    Fourteen schools in Washington state offer it and another 110 schools in the United States are de-emphasizing SAT and ACT scores. Instead, the schools look at a student's grade point average and overall performance during their high school years.
    “You know, the four years of their experience in high school were three times more predictive than standardized test scores,” Rickard said.
    High school counselors attending an annual conference at UPS said the option opens the door to kids with learning disabilities or socioeconomic problems who often perform poorly on standardized tests,  even if they're good students with good grades.
    It will reach a lot of students who are disconnected from the general population who do not have access to test preparation,” said Marcia Hunt, a counselor at Pine Crest school in Orlando, Florida.
    Mark Moody of Colorado Academy in Denver agreed.

    “Sitting in an uncomfortable room for several hours one Saturday morning during the year is not a measure of who a student is,” Moody said.
    The new no-test option is available to students applying for admission at UPS for the 2016-2017 academic year.

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