Will COVID-19 Kill Standardized Testing

Andrew Elysee, Writer/Editor

A picture of standardized test prep-books

Standardized testing in 2020 is in a very unique position. For the first time in a long time, Universities are not requiring standardized testing in their admissions process. These changes are even being adopted by the most prestigious schools including MIT, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Of course, the only reason these new policies were put in place is because of COVID-19. The question is: What will happen to standardized tests after COVID-19?

Many are hoping that this year’s Voluntary standardized testing will mark the end of required standardized testing, but most believe that this won’t happen. Stephen Luo ’24, a freshman from the Academic Center said, “I think the impact of COVID-19 on standardized testing will decrease and testing will go back to normal.” Standardized testing is extremely biased to a very particular type of person and, for the most part, tells little about someone’s actual knowledge and skill. Some schools like the University of Chicago recognized that standardized testing adds extra stress to an already challenging college application process and became test-optional in 2018. There are some that believe the trend of test-optional college admissions will carry on for only a few years after COVID-19 and will return back to the required testing format. A senior, Kataleena Huynh ’21, commented, “They will probably remain test-optional for a year or two after but the more selective schools will most likely return to requiring test schools.” It is very likely that colleges will approach their testing policies in this manner to compensate for students who may not have gotten the chance to take the tests or pre-tests before a vaccine is widely spread. There is also the possibility that schools will immediately go back to requiring testing. A sophomore, Miles Maloney ’23, said, “I think that, at first, the standardized tests will be judged/graded more leniently than they were pre-COVID, maybe in a different way than usual. They could be online also. After some time, I believe that testing will probably go back to normal.” Some people like Miles believe that if schools do start requiring tests again, they will just give less value to testing than they would have before COVID-19. Either way, now that cases are starting to spike again in the United States, the end of COVID-19s effects on the education system and standardized testing is nowhere in sight.