Admission Test Results No Longer Required in George Washington University

September 18, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. aptitude /ˈæp tɪˌtud/ (n.) – readiness to learn something
Example: Many students in the class had a high aptitude for learning languages.

2. discouraged /dɪsˈkɝːɪdʒd/  (adj.) – feeling less hopeful
Example: I felt discouraged when I failed the test.

3. regardless of /rɪˈgɑrd lɪs ʌv/ (idiom) – without being affected by something
Example: The scholarship allows students to study regardless of their background. 

4. optional /ˈɒp ʃə nl/ (adj.) – not required
Example: Cellphones are no longer optional; they are required in the corporate world. 

5. admission /ædˈmɪʃ ən/ (n.) – the act or process of getting into an institution (e.g. school and company)
Example: She had to take an exam as part of the college admission requirements.


Read the text below.
Starting August 1, the George Washington University (GWU) no longer requires its student applicants to include their Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT) scores in their application.

The GWU decided to remove the test scores in its requirements because its administration is worried that students are discouraged from applying because their scores are low. The dean of admissions also mentioned that the university wishes to get excellent students regardless of their test scores. The university also wants to promote itself as a place that allows students from different backgrounds to grow.

The university modified its application requirements after the Task Force on Access and Success revealed its findings about what contributes to a student’s success in the GWU. Its results found that high school records and grade point averages contribute more to a student’s success in college than SAT or ACT scores.

The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, or FairTest, reported that aside from the GWU, more than 125 private colleges and universities now make SAT or ACT scores an optional requirement for applicants. Some of these universities are Wesleyan [WES-lee-uh n] University, American University, and Wake Forest University.

The SAT and ACT are often required for college admission. The SAT measures one’s aptitude based on the student’s reasoning and verbal abilities, while the ACT is an achievement test that measures the overall learning of the student in school. Among the countries that offer and require students to take the SAT or the ACT are the United States and Canada.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think other universities should also remove SAT and ACT scores in their student application requirements? Why or why not?
·         How else can the GWU encourage more student applicants?

Discussion B

·         What can students do to better prepare for university entrance exams?
·         Aside from studying for exams, what other preparations should students do when applying to a university?

September 18, 2015