9 months ago
Admissions Advice

Any thoughts on how the latest changes from CollegeBoard will affect the admissions process to state and elite school?

I am a 9th grader

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Accepted Answer
9 months ago[edited]

Personally I think its a mixed bag.

On one hand any time standardized tests are removed from the admissions process, the process becomes more of a "level playing field" for nearly the 4 million applying to colleges. It becomes less complicated and you don't have to commit 50 hours here and 100 hours there to prep for these kinds of exams. I took 3 subject tests and the essay portion of both the SAT and ACT as well. Although I submitted my ACT score, if I had not submitted anything and all the colleges were say, "TEST BLIND" meaning they didn't want to see either ACT or SAT, I think I would have saved 300-350 hours of my time which I could have used to develop a 2nd spike EC or get my grades up even more.

On the negative side, clever students and applicants who had mishaps or deficiencies in their transcript like getting a C+ in Physics or B- in AP Calculus or a B in AP LIT or AP LANG could used these tests and sections and prop up their credentials without having to take the course over. For example if you scored 750+ on English, Math 2 or Physics, that would show some proficiency or mastery in the coursework. Likewise, if you scored and 11 or 21+ on the essay portions of the ACT/SAT you would prove you were a very good writer even though you got a B in the class.

So I think for some students, it does an equal amount of harm as good because they can't game the college applications process because there are few pieces on the chessboard if you know what I'm saying. Imagine every piece on the chessboard is has a Admissions Criteria like Grade=Queen,Rank=King,the Bishops are ECs and Essays, the Rooks are Test Scores ACT/SAT for 1 rook and the other SAT II/Essay Section/APs, and the Horses are say Recommendations, VIP status( Recruited Athlete, Legacy, Development) and the 8 pawns are all the other things like Interview, Race, Geography, Instate-Out of State, etc. So if you are now playing college admissions Chess without Rooks, that's not the same Chess Playing field as it was last year or the year before. It's a different Chess Game.

So for an average student, I think this will have more benefits because the barrier to entry is lower and simplified. Colleges will look at GPA, Essays, Course Rigor, ECs and make a simplified holistic decision. For the high achieving student or someone wealthy who uses college consultants, coaches, tutors, pay-for-services, this is more problematic because the will have to focus on grades, course rigor and ECs and their writing ability. I think in public schools this will be challenging for these types of students in a Pandemic online environment where there are fewer classes, ECs and hardly any sports or opportunities to perform community services or hold leadership roles like in the past. But for rich kids attending private schools or boarding schools this will pose the least amount of interference with them getting into great colleges.

Keep up the good work.

9 months ago

There is a collegevine livestream about that exact topic tomorrow!


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