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Universities back away from standardized tests

Claudette Riley Springfield News-Leader

At Missouri State, good GPA in high school means no ACT requirement

Missouri's largest public institutions of higher education have announced policy changes or pilot programs aimed at streamlining the admissions process for freshmen.

Missouri State University will now accept "superscores" on the ACT or SAT, which allow students to submit the top score for each section to create a new average. The university also adopted a test-optional policy for students who have a high school GPA of 3.25 or higher. The university announced the changes Wednesday.

According to MSU, more than 800 national four-year public and private institutions have added test-optional admission options for students who have thrived in their high school curriculum. Another 400 universities added the option due to COVID-19 and cancellation of spring and summer ACT and SAT exams.

The University of Missouri System announced a pilot program Wednesday to also make standardized testing optional for first-time undergraduate applicants for the 2021-22 year. The change, described as temporary, will allow students to submit ACT or SAT scores but applicants who choose not to submit scores will not be penalized.

According to the UM system, applications will be reviewed based on GPA, class rank, academic course load, rigor of coursework, extracurricular and leadership activities, letters of recommendation and personal essays. Each UM institution will set its own standards for minimum GPA.

In the past year, Drury University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City announced they will no longer require ACT or SAT scores as part of the admissions process.