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But millions of students complete the essays every year, with many of them stressed out about doing so and paying tutors to help them. Then in March, Harvard University announced it was dropping the requirement.
Yale University and the University of San Diego followed in Juneleaving the total number of colleges still requiring the essay at In July, Princeton and Stanford Universities announced that they were dropping the requirement.
Then came word that the California Institute of Technology was also dropping the essay.
And last week came an announcement from Brown Universityfollowed by Duke University dropping the requirement. Today, the University of Michigan dropped the requirement. A spokesman said via email, "Several factors went into this decision, including the recent redesign of the evidence-based reading and writing section of the SAT that incorporates a more expansive reading and writing assessment within the body of the exam, as well as our continued requirement that applicants already submit multiple writing samples to our UM-specific admissions application.
Many note that as more states and school districts pay for SAT test taking during school hours, those tests don't include the essay, so those who feel they need the essay must take the test at another time -- adding expenses and stress for test takers.
All of the colleges' announcements have emphasized that they care deeply about the writing skills of applicants, but they quickly add that they don't think they need the SAT essay to judge those skills. While the policies apply to the ACT essay as well, attention has focused on the SAT essay, as the SAT tends to be the most widely used test at the institutions that are dropping the essay requirement.
Some have noted that their applicants already submit essays. Others have said that there may be superior ways to examine applicants' writing. Princeton will now require all applicants to submit a graded high school paper, and Brown is recommending that applicants submit such a paper.
For those hoping that that the essay disappears, there may be one giant obstacle: The system's undergraduate campuses receive more thanapplications per year, and all applicants must complete the SAT or ACT essay.
The College Board has given every indication over the years that it sees the University of California as a crucial system when it comes to any changes in the SAT. A speech by Richard Atkinson, then president of the system, led the College Board to create the writing test, which debuted in While faculty members have been involved in some colleges' decisions to drop the essay, the University of California decision is controlled by a systemwide faculty body, the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools, known by its acronym BOARS.
That committee has been "monitoring" the decisions of other colleges and has been studying whether UC should maintain the requirement, said Henry Sanchez, a professor of pathology at the University of California, San Francisco, and chair of BOARS.
BOARS will consider the issue over the next year, in what he said would be "a very faculty-driven, evidence-based analysis.
But in response to a request by Inside Higher Ed last week, a College Board spokesman said via email that the organization continued to stand by the value of the essay.
As part of the redesign, we lengthened the SAT essay to 50 minutes to give students more time to engage in thoughtful, effective writing. James Murphy, director of national outreach for the Princeton Review, which offers many test-prep and admissions services to applicants, has been a critic of the essay, saying that the vast majority of those who prepare and take it don't need to.
He said he hoped that news of top college after top college dropping the essay would lead students to just stop taking it unless they are applying to the University of California. Going Test Optional While the College Board is defending its essay test, other institutions are going completely test optional in admissions.
The University of Chicago surprised many admissions experts when it announced in June that it was going test optional.For the essay portion of the writing section, the essay is scaled sub-score that can range from two (low) to 8 (high).
We have provided the SAT test resources and the tools. The rest is up to you- the best teacher is the person who knows you best- YOU! In the last sixty-three years, the SAT has only undergone one major change, which occurred in when the test added a grammar- and essay-based Writing score.
But the College Board will be stirring things up once again, this time only eleven years later, when it debuts the redesigned SAT in . Students will want to include all three types of support for their topic sentences in order to score well on the SAT Essay Writing Section.
What to support: Paragraph 3 - THE DIFFERENT/OPPOSITE PERSPECTIVE · Paragraph 3 will begin with a TOPIC SENTENCE. How the SAT Essay Is Scored. Responses to the optional SAT Essay are scored using a carefully designed process.
Two different people will read and score your essay. Each scorer awards 1–4 points for each dimension: reading, analysis, and writing. The two scores for each dimension are added.
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