UT sticks with previous admissions requirements, despite new SAT format

Emma Acosta

UT will not make changes to its current admissions requirements despite the new SAT taking effect this March.

In March 2014, College Board announced major changes to the exam. The test will revert to a 1,600-point scale, and the essay portion will be optional and scored separately. Previously, students were required to take the writing portion and graded on a 2,400-point scale. 

Other changes include a math portion without a calculator, a reading section focused more on comprehension and a guaranteed section that will include a passage from the country’s founding documents. 

UT has decided to keep its current policy in place, requiring all freshmen applicants to submit a writing portion for both ACT and SAT tests. 

Associate director of admissions Allan Altamirano said the office will need to compile the new test scores first before considering making changes to the admissions process.

“We value the use of the test scores in our freshmen admissions process, and we think it is too early for us to make any changes in our current process,” Altamirano said.

Daniel Willams, a high school senior interested in attending UTSA, said colleges shouldn’t require the writing portion now that it is optional.

“Being able to take a topic and form an opinion about it and then structure an essay around that isn’t the easiest thing to do,” Williams said. “The writing being optional is a good thing. It helps some people out that don’t consider writing their strong suit.”  

Aerospace engineering freshman Eddie Esquivel said he doesn’t think the writing portion should be optional.

“If we [older students] could do it, and sometimes make perfect scores, other kids can do it. There really is no reason to lower the standards,” Esquivel said.

Altamirano also said the office will accept the old test form along with the new one. The only active change the office is working on is making sure the online program, which is used to receive test scores, accepts the new SAT point scale.

The admissions office will evaluate the data from the new SAT scores for an entire year before announcing any changes to their admissions process, according to Altamirano. 

“Just a matter of accepting those test scores in our process is what we are working on right now,” Altamirano said. “One year worth of data is probably what is going be necessary in order for us to make a change.”