More than just a number

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The reliance on standardized test results has been a long-running debate in the realm of higher education. In the past few years, some colleges and universities have made the decision to make submission of standardized testing scores optional. DePauw is now included in this group of test-optional higher education institutions.

As current college students, we remember taking the SAT/ACT all too well; the bleak testing room, pages of droning questions, inhaling smushed granola bars during 10-minute breaks. And you have to pay for it. Every time you take it. And to send it. To every school that requires it.

DePauw is joining a growing line of liberal arts colleges who are deciding to ditch the scantron. Denison University, Allegheny College and Wittenberg University are just a few examples of institutions taking a test-optional approach.

Some argue that standardized tests can be a useful tool to differentiate between two similar students. Others argue that standardized testing is not accurate in showing the creativity and potential of an individual student. How a student performs on a single test is not predictive of the type of student they may become within their four years of undergraduate education.

We tend to agree with the latter because students are more than just a number. Despite the usefulness of standardized testing as a measurement of a student’s ability at a given time, these tests are unable to determine future personal and academic growth. Although helpful when taken into account, we do not believe standardized test scores are necessary for the collegiate admissions process.

Our university is home to amazing students with an incredible range of talents. This change will hopefully welcome a new and more diverse group of students, with potential that extends far beyond maximum scores of 36 and 1600.