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The essay portion of the SAT and ACT has never been a requirement at most colleges and universities, and has been in place only at a few dozen colleges in recent years.
"We are looking at this." He noted that UC has "a different situation" from some of the colleges dropping the requirement in the vast number of applications that the system receives, making a standardized option appealing.
BOARS will consider the issue over the next year, in what he said would be "a very faculty-driven, evidence-based analysis." For Sanchez, he said, the key question is whether the data currently being collected show any correlation between the scores on the essay and performance of those who enroll.
Then in March, Harvard University announced it was dropping the requirement.
Yale University and the University of San Diego followed in June, leaving the total number of colleges still requiring the essay at 25.
"We've got to get the data." As many colleges have been dropping the essay, the College Board has largely remained silent.
But in response to a request by last week, a College Board spokesman said via email that the organization continued to stand by the value of the essay.
"Everyone agrees that writing essays and developing extensive research projects are essential for college readiness and success," he said.
"We believe that the SAT essay provides a strong complement to the multiple-choice section by asking students to demonstrate reading, analysis, writing, and critical thinking skills in the context of analyzing a provided source text.
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