The mainstream media has reported widely that the average scores on the new SAT dropped suddenly and unexpectedly for the class of 2006 despite the College Board’s repeated assurances that scores for the longer SAT given for the first time last year are equivalent to those for the exam given in prior years. On average the scores dropped 7 points in total after climbing steadily for several years. The College Board, which administers the SAT, said the drop is insignificant.
The College Board’s critics say otherwise. They point to the unanticipated drop and the SAT scoring error last year, along with general College Board heavy-handedness, as evidence the SAT in particular and testing in general should go.
And those critics are gaining followers. The New York Times today has an article, Students’ Paths to Small Colleges Can Bypass SAT, which discuses a growing number of colleges that no longer require the SAT or its mid-west cousin, the ACT. These include prestigious, smaller schools like Mount Holyoke, Middlebury, Hamilton, Union, Dickinson, Bates, and Bowdoin. The NYT reports, "Admissions officers said eliminating the testing requirement had increased both the size and diversity of their applicant pools, and bolstered their reputation as places personal enough to consider each application."