Dartmouth returns to requiring standardized testing

I was reading a mailing I got from the Chronicle of Higher Education (I don’t remember why I started getting them; it’s my wife’s thing) and I found it worth sharing. I’ll summarize here.

Dartmouth has decided, after COVID, to return to requiring standardized testing. The interesting thing here is why.

Standardized testing turns out to be a better predictor of college performance than GDP is, and that has something to do with it, but it’s not the most interesting reason.

Students had the option of not including standardized test scores in their applications. However, Dartmouth has access to the scores after the fact. They started looking and discovered that some poorer minority students who hadn’t submitted test scores and were rejected would have been admitted had they submitted their scores. What’s going on?

Test scores can be affected by the quality of your education. Unbeknownst to the students, the admissions department was already allowing for that. It never occurred to the students that their standardized test scores would be weighted.