Admissions Officers Welcome Changes to SAT and ACT, Survey Finds

By Caralee J. Adams — September 20, 2013 1 min read
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Nearly three-quarters of college admissions officers surveyed say they welcome content changes to the SAT and 87 percent think the ACT’s switch to a computerized test is a good idea.

These findings were from a national telephone poll released Thursday of 422 college admissions officers by Kaplan Test Prep that was conducted in July and August.

In February, the College Board announced it was considering major content changes to the SAT in 2015 to align it better with high school curricula. College Board President David Coleman spoke yesterday at the annual conference of the National Association for College Admission Counseling about the revision, including revamping the writing section and making the college-entrance test less coachable. (See today’s coverage in Inside Higher Ed).

Admissions officers in the Kaplan survey said they would like to see the SAT be more sensitive to perceived socioeconomic and cultural biases; change or get rid of the writing portion of the test; and have the content be more reflective of high school curricula.

ACT Inc. is not planning any content changes and only 24 percent of admissions officers surveyed say it should be changed. But respondents responded favorably to plans unveiled this spring by the Iowa City, Iowa-based testing organization to switch its test from a paper-and-pencil to computer-based format in 2015.

Students polled earlier this year by Kaplan are not as eager for the SAT to change. Only 39 percent students surveyed said the exam should change, 35 percent think there should be no revisions and the rest were unsure.

The College Board last revamped the SAT in 2005 with the addition of the writing section.

Some 88 percent of admissions officers polled said their colleges and universities require either an SAT or ACT score for admission and 99 percent had no plans to drop the requirement.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.