Join ArborBridge’s Weekly News Flash and receive the latest headlines in test prep and college admissions every Tuesday
We are committed to providing you with the most up-to-date resources and announcements from the college admissions testing landscape. Here are some of the top headlines from this past month:
IACAC Statement Strongly Criticizes College Board and ACT for Unfairly Penalizing International Students
Summary: The International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC) published a strongly worded rebuke taking both the College Board (SAT) and ACT to task for recent cancellations of exams abroad. As of today, the Class of 2018 had twice as many SAT test dates in the U.S. than abroad (8 vs. 4 dates), and ACT cancelled the September test in Asia, Europe, and Oceania. The cancellations have been last-minute changes due to test security issues. Cancellations, according to the statement, have robbed international students of “equal access” to meeting requirements for college admissions. The statement comes on the heels of a similar call by IACAC in May for the CB and ACT to stop reusing tests abroad and to ensure better and earlier communication when test cancellations occur. The ACT’s response was to emphasize that it will be rolling out a digital version of the exam in September 2018, which will increase test security. The CB’s response announced the creation of “an international advisory committee to inform our international work.”
What this means:
- Way to go IACAC. The disparity is unsettling, and it’s good to see an organization taking a stand on behalf of students.
- The CB and ACT’s responses are pretty run of the mill and reaffirm that much is not likely to change this year, so students abroad should plan ahead. Plan to test early to ensure that if your test is cancelled, you have time to reschedule before applications are due.
Recap of the LSAT/GRE Fight in Law School Admissions
Summary: Above the Law published a quick recap of the debate over law schools’ embrace of the GRE in admissions. The article reviews how the ABA determines policies for all law schools, who now accepts GRE ahead of an official change by the ABA, why other schools are still hesitating, the ABA’s summer meeting which decided nothing, and the debate upcoming at a November ABA meeting.
What this means: If you are new to the story, this is a great recap to get you caught up.
What in the World Is the ABA Doing about the GRE? (Above the Law)
College Board Answers Complaints About Disadvantaging International Testers
Summary: The College Board posted an announcement this week outlining both old and new ways to ensure that students outside the US have a fair shot at taking the SAT. One new element in this announcement is that in the 2020–2021 school year, a fifth SAT date will be added back to the calendar. No details yet on which month will be added. The CB also hired new staff at the head of its security division, is now confiscating all cell phones during SAT test administrations abroad, and may ban anyone caught cheating from all CB exams (SAT, AP, and Subject Tests).
What this means:
- The CB’s press release is a direct answer to the International Association for College Admissions Counseling’s call for greater equity for international test takers. The SAT is the first to put forward real reforms here; we are still waiting to see what the ACT does.
- Though these are steps in the right direction, waiting to add a test date back into the mix won’t help kids until fall 2020. That means this change will—at the earliest—ensure equity for current freshmen who will be seniors then. (As a reminder, the CB cut the June SAT in February of this year, reducing the number of SAT’s available each year to four down from five.)