Survey: Most Americans Consider Grades, Test Scores as Top Factors
Despite more and more colleges going test-optional, most Americans still view grades and test scores as top factors in college admissions.
A March survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that more than 93% of Americans say high school grades should be at least a minor factor in admissions decisions. 61% say it should be a major factor. Standardized test scores are another top factor, with 46% saying it should be a major factor and 39% saying it should be a minor factor.
RACE AND ETHNICITY, PARTISAN LINES
Views of grades and standardized testing in admissions has changed slightly over the years, specifically since 2019.
“Asian American (65%) and White adults (63%) are now somewhat more likely than Black (54%) and Hispanic (53%) adults to say high school grades should be a major factor,” according to Pew Research Center. “Three years ago, Asian American adults (77%) were more likely than White (68%), Hispanic (66%) and Black (63%) adults to say this.”
Across partisan lines, fewer Democrats are likely to say that high school grades should be a major factor in admissions, with 68% viewing grades as a major factor in 2018 and 60% today. On the Republican side, 68% viewed grades as a major factor in 2019 compared to 65% today.
“In both parties, fewer now say standardized test scores should be a major factor in college admissions decisions than said the same three years ago,” according to Pew Research Center.
“But this shift is starker among Democrats (34% now, down from 44%) than Republicans (47% now, down from 51%). And while there have been declines across racial and ethnic groups in the shares who say standardized test scores should be a major factor in college admissions, this decline is particularly pronounced among Asian Americans.”
COLLEGES MOVE TOWARDS TEST-OPTIONAL
In recent years, colleges and universities across the nation have moved towards test-optional admissions policies. Just last year, the University of California announced that it would be ending testing for admissions decisions for good.
“When you have the most prestigious university system in the nation’s most populous state functioning without test scores and developing ways to do admissions fairly and accurately without them, it’s very significant,” Bob Schaeffer, executive director of FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing, tells the Los Angeles Times. “UC already is and increasingly will become a national model for test-free admissions.”
Next Page: Getting a Head Start with Admissions
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