Christina Wolfgram
September 26, 2015 12:34 pm

Imagine a world with no SATs or ACTs. It would mean no prep courses, no frantically searching for a sharpened #2 pencil, no more Saturday mornings sitting in a classroom trying to find “x” for the twentieth time that day. Students would be accepted to college based on, what, who they are as people? It sounds like an impossible fantasy, right? But one school might be laying the groundwork to abolish standardized testing from college applications, so we may someday get to see that world.

Hampshire College is considered one of the top schools in the country for its percentage of grads who go on to graduate school. Located in Massachusetts, the liberal arts college experiments with how students’ work is assessed, often measuring progress with portfolios or narrative evaluations instead of conventional grades.

It should be no surprise that the application process to get into such an untraditional school is, well, untraditional. As of last year, Hampshire College no longer accepts SAT or ACT scores as part of admissions. While there are currently over 180 colleges and universities in America that consider test scores “optional,” Hampshire College is taking things to a new level, flat out refusing the numbers. As a result, the school reported, this year’s freshman class is more qualified to succeed at Hampshire College than any year prior.

Unfortunately, cutting the SAT or ACT requirement from its application means that U.S. News & World report refused to include Hampshire College in its annual rankings.

Hampshire College President, Jonathan Lash issued a statement regarding the omission:

He makes a great point: Something incredibly valuable is lost when teaching and learning centers around doing well on tests. But has test-taking become such an integral part of education now that the system would crumble without it?

We’ll just have to wait and see if any other colleges follow Hampshire’s example. Until then …

(Images via here and here.)

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