In this essay, Rebecca Zwick confronts the controversy surrounding the use of standardized tests in college admissions. She examines the degree to which the SAT and its lesser known cousin, the ACT, limit access to college, particularly for racial and ethnic minorities, and considers two alternative admissions policies that do not involve tests: class rank admissions systems and admissions lotteries. She finds that these initiatives carry their own controversies and have little impact on campus diversity. Zwick notes that some small liberal arts colleges have deemphasized tests and have achieved some success in increasing campus diversity while maintaining high academic standards, but highlights the difficulty of replicating these policies at large institutions. Her analysis sheds light on the ongoing tension between maintaining college selectivity and promoting equal opportunity.

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