Standardised Tests

Rethinking the Role of Standardised Testing

1 Minute Read
Due to COVID-19, college admissions have significantly changed.


Institutions temporarily waived standardised test requirements, sparking a widespread discussion about their place in evaluating students’ potential.

However, recent research conducted by Harvard and Dartmouth sheds light on an important truth: SAT and ACT scores are more than just numbers; they are strong predictors of a student's success in college. This revelation prompts a reconsideration of the role of standardised testing in shaping college admissions policies. 

This insight comes at a crucial time as colleges like Dartmouth and MIT are bringing back testing requirements, recognising the value these scores bring to the admissions process. Despite the option to apply without test scores, the majority of successful applicants at top-tier universities still include them, highlighting their ongoing relevance.

The studies, which compared admissions records and first year grades from elite US colleges between 2017 and 2022  bring clarity to three important areas:

1: Higher test scores predict higher college GPAs

Students with higher SAT or ACT scores tend to perform better in college, showing that these tests do indeed have a role in predicting academic success.

2: Looking Beyond High School Grades

High school grades alone don’t tell the whole story about a student's capability, suggesting that standardised tests offer valuable additional insights.

3: Fairness Across the Board

One of the most compelling findings is that test scores predict college success regardless of a student's socioeconomic background, challenging the idea that these tests are inherently biased.

This research reaffirms standardised testing as a vital tool for college admissions and has already convinced Dartmouth to recently reinstate its testing requirement. It seems standardised test results will once again be an essential part of US applications. 


At A-List, we've been at the forefront of empowering students since 2005, helping them navigate the complexities of standardised testing with confidence and proficiency. Whether you’re starting your test preparation, selecting colleges, or crafting your applications, our team is dedicated to helping you succeed. Discover more about how we can help you achieve your best SAT and ACT scores with our SAT or ACT test preparation support. For further questions, get in touch.