A New Look at ACT and SAT Writing Requirements



Each year, over 3.2 million students take either the SAT or the ACT. Many students take both tests. That’s a lot of stress.

However, students may be able to breathe just a slight bit easier. Many colleges don’t think much of the writing part.  Apparently, colleges are now seeing what so many high school students see.  These writing assessments do a poor job in evaluating writing skill.

Most recently, Brown, Caltech, Princeton, and Stanford announced that they will no longer require the Writing section. These schools join Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, and many others. In fact, now only 21 colleges require the SAT essay and 23 require the ACT essay. These colleges include University of Miami, University of Michigan, the University of California schools, and Duke.

However, as we all know, nothing is as clear as it seems when it comes to admissions requirements.

Princeton is adding a writing requirement for all applicants. The school will now require a graded writing sample, preferably in the subjects of English or history, to be submitted by all applicants. University officials believe that assessing a high school paper will provide the, “helpful and meaningful insight into a student’s academic potential” that is needed.

And though Stanford says they will no longer “require” the ACT or SAT writing, an article from The Washington Post said that the university will continue to “strongly recommend” submitting either the SAT or ACT writing test.  And we all know what this means: “Strongly recommend” = required.

At International College Counselors, we’re optimistic about the trend in eliminating the essay portion of the SAT and ACT. At the same time, we encourage students to start saving their graded high school papers.

For more information on the SAT or ACT or with any or all other parts of the college admissions process, contact us at 1-954-414-9986.