The number of test-optional colleges and universities is on the rise with one-third of all accredited schools now no longer requiring applicants to submit SAT and ACT scores to be considered for admission. Agnes Scott, Assumption, Sacred Heart, SUNY Pottsdam and Washington & Jefferson are the latest to join the ranks of test-optional schools, bringing the total to more than 830, according to an article in the FairTest November newsletter. In explaining why the faculty of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia voted to go test-optional, English Professor Christine Cozzens said: “Going test optional is evidence of our confidence in our highly individualized admission process and our desire to see every applicant as a whole, complex person with many gifts and qualities and not as numbers.” Assumption College, which joined the College of the Holy Cross and Worcester Polytechnic Institute to form a cluster of highly selective, test-optional schools in Worcester, Massachusetts pointed to research that showed standardized tests were not a good predictor of success. An in-house study found that “high school GPA (cumulative grade point average) is, in fact, a better predictor of academic success at Assumption,” said Evan Lipp, Assumption Vice President for Enrollment Management. Assumption’s findings reflect. A comprehensive study by FairTest — Test Scores Do Not Equal Merit: Enhancing Equity & Excellence in College Admissions by Deemphasizing SAT and ACT Results — supports Assumption’s findings. With the numbers changing so rapidly, FairTest now is also making an updated list of test-optional schools available online.