A growing number of American universities are dropping the entrance exam requirement. More than 800 universities now allow students to apply without an SAT or ACT test score. The SAT and ACT are the two major college entrance tests in the United States.
For years, colleges have used these tests to help measure an applicant's academic skills. But more universities are becoming "test optional." Students who apply to test-optional schools can choose whether they want to include test scores in their applications.
George Washington University in Washington, D.C. is one of the latest schools to adopt a test-optional admissions policy for most of its applicants. It is the largest private university to drop the test requirement.
Karen Stroud Felton is the Dean of Admissions at George Washington University. She said in a statement that the university "had concerns that students who could be successful... felt discouraged from applying if their scores were not as strong as their high school performance."
Each of America's more than 3,000 colleges and universities has its own admission requirements. At some colleges, test scores are very important. Others are more interested in an applicant's life experience, teacher recommendations, community service, and talents.
High school GPA, or grade point average, is another way to judge a student's ability. A GPA of 3.5 or higher (on scale from 0 to 4) is considered good. For international applicants, universities have specialists review the academic standards of different countries and convert them to GPA equivalents（相等物）.
James Montoya is a vice president of the College Board. He says that the majority of colleges in the US still require test scores. "You will find it interesting to know that even those institutions that are test-optional often require students from particular areas—those applying for special scholarships, those with lower GPAs."