• Beth & Tim Manners

Colleges Abandon Standard Test Essay

Updated: Sep 20, 2019

Washington Post: “One by one, major schools this year are dropping their requirements for prospective students to submit an essay score from the national testing services. Princeton and Stanford universities last week became the latest to end the mandate, following Dartmouth College and Harvard and Yale universities. Those schools are dropping the requirement because they wanted to ensure that the extra cost of essay testing did not drive applicants away. Others have resisted requiring the essays because they doubted the exercise revealed much.”


“Fewer than 25 schools now require the essay scores, according to some tallies, including nine in the University of California system. Brown University, as of Friday, was the lone holdout in the Ivy League … A longtime skeptic of the timed-writing exercises, Charles Deacon of Georgetown said he never considers the essay scores when reading applications. ‘Just didn’t make any difference to us,’ he said.”


“But Janet Rapelye, Princeton’s dean of admission , said she finds the scores helpful and sometimes reads the essay that yielded the score (colleges can view them) when she wants to know more about an applicant. ‘It’s actually a very good test,’ she said. But the university dropped the requirement, she said, out of concern that testing costs or logistical issues would deter some students from applying.”

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