Testing Reasoning

The Daily Californian reports:

Admissions officials from universities across the country are calling on their peers to break away from a reliance on SAT and ACT scores for admissions criteria and instead shift toward subject-specific tests.

A commission of the National Association for College Admission Counseling recently released a yearlong study concluding that schools should put more weight on the College Board’s Advanced Placement tests, SAT Subject Tests and International Baccalaureate exams because they are more closely tied to high school curriculum and have very little expensive private test preparation associated with them.

Seems fair enough: we’re trying to move away from tests associated with the private test prep industry. But what does this represent? A heavier and heavier emphasis on subjects as the centre of learning.

What about reasoning? Is the ability to reason so bound to particular subjects that we must subject students to a long battery of tests to realistically have a chance to attend university, while we are free to neglect their ability to do critical thinking on subjects they have never crammed for?

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