Colby College, a selective liberal arts college in Maine, has announced a new policy on standardized testing. Although Colby is not going test optional, they will now allow students to submit three SAT subject test scores in place of a standard SAT or ACT.
This policy is the same as that in place at Middlebury College.
I am pleased to see that Colby is providing more options for students who take standardized tests. I would like to have seen them join the other selective colleges in Maine, Bates and Bowdoin, in a test optional policy.
The problem with allowing three subject tests in place of the SAT or ACT is that most students will still take the SAT or ACT for use at other colleges. If the student does not do well on those tests, then they will be in a position of having to take SAT subject tests that might not have otherwise been required. It would seem that this new policy may have the unintended consequence of actually having students take more tests.
I appreciate that selective colleges like to have as much information as possible in making their admissions decisions. However, other selective colleges have clearly shown that standardized testing is not a necessary requirement to select a class. Colby should take the next step and make standardized testing completely optional.