After Harvard and Yale announced that they were dropping the writing requirement for both SATs and ACTs, Stanford and Princeton followed suit. Now only 23 colleges in the US require the writing portion of these exams for admission. Good news for students!
Many colleges are now requiring students to submit graded writing samples – an essay that they turned in for English or history assignments with comments and grades from their teachers. Others state that they “strongly recommend” submitting the writing scores, even if they are not “required.”
While critics claim that the writing test doesn’t judge whether a student will be able to write college-level essays, I think that there should be some sort of evaluation to determine if a student can write well enough to succeed in college. We all know that the essays students write for their college applications are heavily edited by teachers, tutors, and parents. Students who submit graded essays may be tempted to use friends’ essays and teachers may receive requests from students to “grade” essays that they’ve written (and received a lot of help on) specifically for college applications. My concern is that taken out of a proctored testing environment, colleges will have to wade through a sea of papers to determine which essays were truly written by the student.