Liberal arts makes SAT optional in positive move

Duke Staff

The McAnulty College of Liberal Arts is lifting its requirement to submit SAT scores as part of their application for applying to Duquesne. But is making the countless nights of studying, preparing and nervously anticipating a test score, optional a good move for the University?

The argument against SATs, has been in debate for decades according to The American magazine. Created in the 1920s as a test to identify intellectual talent regardless of race, color or money, it is hardly fulfilling its original purpose. Believed to favor privileged children who have access to tutors, expensive practice books and a higher degree of education, the point’s an easy one to make. But is it children’s faults that they were born into these opportunities, likewise the opposite? Certainly not.

Another issue that test takers seem to find fault in is the subject matter itself. With only verbal, math and writing, the latter added only nine years ago, students who shine in other subjects aren’t given the platform to demonstrate their skills.

The act of preparing and taking the test is also attractsing skepticism for its relevance in the college learning environment. While all-encompassing tests like the GRE, LSAT and MCAT will be on the horizon for those looking to further their education after their undergraduate career, it is uncommon to come across a test like the SATs whilst in college.

The key word to pay attention to here is optional. For many colleges and universities, students are asked not to apply if their SAT score doesn’t meet a standard, and therein lies the problem. Students aren’t taught nor do they learn at a national standard, so how is it fair to test them on one?

Duquesne has the right idea. By analyzing multiple factors of a potential student’s application on a level ground, a more accurate, individualized decision can be made.

If a student demonstrates a greater aptitude at history, it might show in his GPA. If a student demonstrates an involvement in community or volunteer activism she can display that in their personal essay. If the numbers aren’t in your favor, the right recommendation might be the perfect testimony for you to be accepted. And, if it just so happens that a student managed to do well on their standardized testing scores, they are entitled to share those as well.

By making the SAT optional, Duquesne is offering an unbiased opportunity to those applying; a beneficial decision not only to those applying, but for the University as well.