Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, major universities may waive ACT/SAT requirements.

It’s a task almost every high school student in the United States dreads. The ACT and SAT tests are often daunting to the youths of America, but many upperclassmen may be able to dodge this long-held necessity.

Due to the spread of coronavirus, approximately 51 institutes for higher education have already dropped these requirements for the fall 2021 semester. Some schools, including Boston University, even extended this to spring 2022.

Certain schools are making such tests optional for entry consideration. These include Tulane University, Texas Christian University, and Tufts University, the latter of which is extending this practice for three years.

Could this change become permanent?

Of course, most major universities look at this as a temporary relief for students affected by this pandemic. However, there are certain people and organizations that would like to see this as a permanent change.

Fairtest is a nonprofit that aims to end the abuses of standardized testing. Their interim executive director, Bob Schaeffer, believes this could be a “tipping point” for these universities. He recently told CNN, “From our experience, we’ve seen that when schools do these pilot programs, they never go back.”

It is worth considering that many students are already avoiding these requirements in one way or another. Many students opt to start at a community college, most of which don’t require ACT or SAT testing. Fairtest has even cited over 1,000 accredited four-year schools that are entirely test-optional or test-flexible already.

Whether this change is temporary or permanent and whether it expands to more colleges, it is yet another testament to the major impact that COVID-19 is having on our nation. Time will tell if these policies continue beyond the threat of the global pandemic.