The Shakeup of Standardized Testing: CampusChat Live with Akil Bello

Very, very rarely does “breaking news” happen in college admissions. It’s a pretty predictable kind of news beat. However, it happened on Thursday, May 21, during our CampusChat Live with Akil Bello, who knows a lot about college admissions and even more about standardized testing. Akil is currently the senior director of advocacy and advancement at Previously, he served as the Director of Equity and Access for The Princeton Review, where he continued to work to increase access to education for disadvantaged communities. He also blatantly says working to end his part-time job as a highly paid test prep tutor. He knows he’s killing what feeds him.

But what was the breaking news? The University of California college system announced during the chat that they will be suspending the SAT and ACT testing admission requirement until 2024. That’s a lot of students; the UC system currently has just under 300,000 students total between their 10 campuses. That’s a lot less money going to the College Board and ACT, too.


So the breaking news only showed how timely our conversation with Akil was. We covered the May AP test problems and the outcome of that, including the lawsuit now pending against the College Board. We touched on how the SAT will be administered in the fall, if the pandemic levels are still high. And finally, we reminded students that, in the big picture, if you’re healthy, you’re winning. What school you decide to attend, and whether or not they’re online only for the foreseeable future, is a good problem to have… because it’s not a problem. It’s a hurdle, sure. But the clarity of the big picture is good to remember.

RELATED: The Coming ‘Hybrid’ College Education

If you’re interested in the growing list of colleges and universities going test-optional or test not required, the Fairtest list is updated constantly. Standardized testing requirements are changing. Will they change the college you decide to attend?

Finally, before you check out the CampusChat Live, if you’re not following him on Twitter, you should. And yes, his current Twitter name is a nod to the Jamiroquai song, at least for now. Virtual Insanity indeed.

Stay safe and healthy!

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