U Admissions Office ignores SAT change

The new essay portion of the SAT, added in the spring of 2005, will not affect students applying to the U.

John Boswell, director of admissions, said the system the U currently uses to evaluate an incoming student’s writing ability works, and that there is no need to change it. The U Admissions Office will continue to use only the math and verbal portion of the SAT.

“We are going to wait and not use the essay portion in the evaluation process this year,” Boswell said.

Currently, the Admissions Office converts SAT scores to match ACT scores, then creates an index number. The index number establishes whether or not a person will be accepted to the U and then goes to the writing department to determine the placement of students within the department.

Along with a student’s index score, Advanced Placement classes in high school will also determine which writing class incoming students are required to take.

According to the College Board, a non-profit membership association that administers the SAT, the purpose of the essay is to show a student’s ability to communicate a complex idea clearly.

For this reason, Westminster College has chosen to use the score.

According to Joel Bauman, vice-president of enrollment at Westminster, it is important for students to show evidence of their ability to communicate through writing.

“We consider writing essential to someone’s application,” Bauman said.

If a student applying to Westminster did not want to take the SAT essay, he or she could write an essay as part of his or her application, take the optional writing portion of the ACT or submit a graded paper to show he or she can communicate effectively through writing, Bauman said.

Brigham Young University will accept the score on the essay, but it does not require it.

“We don’t have enough data at this point to make a decision regarding the value of the essay,” said Tom Gourley, director of admissions for BYU.

The U accepts both the SAT or the ACT for admissions, but prefers the latter.

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