What is The National Center for Fair & Open Testing?

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing is an organization concerned with the way colleges uses standardized tests as a way to predict future behavior and success. Also known as Fair Test, it serves as one of the leading proponents calling for colleges to stop using standardized test scores and for those schools to look at other factors when deciding which students to admit. This nonprofit organization relies on grants and donations to remain open.

Finding Better Evaluation Methods

Finding better evaluation methods is just one of the goals of Fair Test. It spends time looking at improved methods for both evaluating the performance of students as well as teachers. This organization believes that they way teachers present information to students will play a key role in how well they retain that information and how they use it later. Fair Test works with research institutes and other organizations to find the best ways of evaluating the work students do in school in the hopes of changing how colleges review the applications of those students.

Identifying Biases

Fair Test is one of several groups that believes standardized tests have a built-in bias. That bias significantly reduces the success that some students will have on those tests. Students from rural school districts and those from poorer urban areas may not learn proper test taking methods in schools, which will make it hard for them do well on the test. Fair Trade thinks that identifying those biases and drawing attention to those biases will force schools to better prepare students for the exams and show colleges why they shouldn’t put so much importance on test scores.

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Maintaining Accurate College Lists

The official website of The National Center for Fair & Open Testing maintains a detailed list of the more than 900 test-optional colleges in the United States. Test-optional colleges are those that let students decide whether to submit their SAT or ACT test scores. According to the site, doing away with test scores can help colleges better rank students based on their class ranking and grade point averages. The site also points out that these schools can use those factors to better predict how well students will do at the college level and that it eliminates the bias that makes some students score lower on those exams.

Ranking Colleges

Fair Test is a good resource for students looking for test-optional colleges because it provides information for students on each of those schools, including phone numbers and links to official websites. The site also ranks those colleges in different lists such as those that stopped requiring test scores more than a decade ago and those that are test-flexible. A test-flexible college is one that only requires standardized test scores from certain students like those who have a lower grade point average or those who did not complete a college prep curriculum in high school. Fair Test lists the city and state of each college too.

Though some colleges require that all students submit at least one standardized test score as part of their applications, others give students the freedom to skip those tests. The National Center for Fair & Open Testing is a nonprofit organization that believes test scores are not important because of biases and encourages colleges to get rid of this requirement.