High school students who expect to go on to college begin worrying about the ACT or the SAT exam as juniors. Both exams are difficult. Scores can mean the difference between being admitted to the school of your choice or settling for a different one. Now hundreds of colleges have dropped the tests from admission requirements.
More than 90 percent of colleges and universities still require the ACT and/or SAT for admission. Local admissions experts say it needs to stay that way. There is a lot of evidence that proves the tests still serve a useful purpose.
"The information that those tests give to admissions counselors or to universities is too valuable for most institutions to do away with,"said Scott Snyder.
He works for the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is director for the center for educational accountability. Snyder says the SAT and ACT scores help predict how a student will perform in college.
"By far the majority of colleges will continue to use the sat and act tests. There is fairly good evidence that those two tests reasonably good predictive validity," said Snyder.
According to act.org more than one-point-six million graduating seniors took the test in 2012. About the same number of students took the SAT.
Samford University's dean of admissions, Jason Black says the tests enables them to catch potential problems before a students enrolls.
"It can show you early on that issues are going to arise in maybe your sciences, or maybe it's reading comprehension," said Black.
Fair-Test calls the traditional act and sat "biased, coachable, and irrelevant". Black strongly disagrees.
"It puts students on an even playing field, with students that have the opportunity to take the same tests across the country. It's not as subjective as say a GPA from various high schools that have different curriculum, different rigor," said Black.