The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates on Monday rejected a proposal to end an admission testing requirement for law schools, an action that stalls the test-optional movement for legal education but does not necessarily kill it.
Admission test for MBBS in government and private medical colleges of the country is set to take place on March 10
The application process for admission to government and private medical colleges in Bangladesh began on Monday.
It would continue till February 23.
Online application fee can be submitted till 11:59pm on February 24.
Director of Health Education Department (Medical Education) Dr Mujtahid Muhammad Hossain said admission test for MBBS in government and private medical colleges of the country is set to take place on March 10.
The test will be held from 10am to 11am on that day.
Earlier it was informed in a circular that according to the policy-2023 formulated by Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council for medical admission, application can be made online at the scheduled time. Applicant must be a citizen of Bangladesh.
Students who have obtained GPA 9 collectively in Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) can apply for admission online.
There are 4,350 seats in 37 government medical colleges and 6,489 seats in 72 private medical colleges.
In 2022, the medical admission test was held on April 1 where 143,000 students participated.
Updated February 13, 2023
The universitywide applicant and admit counts are unduplicated. UC Merced opened in 2005 so there is no data prior to 2005 for this campus.
Admission circular will be published with details soon
The MBBS admission test for the 2022-23 academic year will take place on March 10 at government and private medical colleges.
The date of the admission test was finalized in a meeting on Monday.
Director General of the Directorate General of Medical Education (DGME) Prof Dr Tito Mia confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune after a meeting held at the ministry of health on Monday.
Admission circular will be published with details soon.
On February 8, the HSC test results will be published.
They’re making their lists, checking them twice, trying to decide who’s in and who’s not. Once again, it’s admissions season, and tensions are running high as university leaders wrestle with challenging decisions that will affect the future of their schools. Chief among those tensions, in the past few years, has been the question of whether standardized tests should be central to the process.
In 2021, the University of California system ditched the use of all standardized testing for undergraduate admissions. California State University followed suit last spring, and in November, the American Bar Association voted to abandon the LSAT requirement for admission to any of the nation’s law schools beginning in 2025. Many other schools have lately reached the same conclusion. Science magazine reports that among a demo of 50 U.S. universities, only 3 percent of Ph.D. science programs currently require applicants to submit GRE scores, compared with 84 percent four years ago. And colleges that dropped their testing requirements or made them optional in response to the pandemic are now feeling torn about whether to bring that testing back.
Proponents of these changes have long argued that standardized tests are biased against low-income students and students of color, and should not be used. The system serves to perpetuate a status quo, they say, where children whose parents are in the top 1 percent of income distribution are 77 times more likely to attend an Ivy League university than children whose parents are in the bottom quintile. But those who still endorse the tests make the mirror-image claim: Schools have been able to identify talented low-income students and students of color and deliver them transformative educational experiences, they argue, precisely because those students are tested.
These two perspectives—that standardized tests are a driver of inequality, and that they are a great tool to ameliorate it—are often pitted against each other in contemporary discourse. But in my view, they are not oppositional positions. Both of these things can be true at the same time: Tests can be biased against marginalized students and they can be used to help those students succeed. We often forget an important lesson about standardized tests: They, or at least their outputs, take the form of data; and data can be interpreted—and acted upon—in multiple ways. That might sound like an obvious statement, but it’s crucial to resolving this debate.
I teach a Ph.D. seminar on quantitative research methods that dives into the intricacies of data generation, interpretation, and application. One of the readings I assign —Andrea Jones-Rooy’s article “I’m a Data Scientist Who Is Skeptical About Data”—contains a passage that is relevant to our thinking about standardized tests and their use in admissions:
Data can’t say anything about an issue any more than a hammer can build a house or almond meal can make a macaron. Data is a necessary ingredient in discovery, but you need a human to select it, shape it, and then turn it into an insight.
When reviewing applications, admissions officials have to turn test scores into insights about each applicant’s potential for success at the university. But their ability to generate those insights depends on what they know about the broader data-generating process that led students to get those scores, and how the officials interpret what they know about that process. In other words, what they do with test scores—and whether they end up perpetuating or reducing inequality—depends on how they think about bias in a larger system.
First, who takes these tests is not random. Obtaining a score can be so costly—in terms of both time and money—that it’s out of reach for many students. This source of bias can be addressed, at least in part, by public policy. For example, research has found that when states implement universal testing policies in high schools, and make testing part of the regular curriculum rather than an add-on that students and parents must provide for themselves, more disadvantaged students enter college and the income gap narrows. Even if we solve that problem, though, another—admittedly harder—issue would still need to be addressed.
The second issue relates to what the tests are actually measuring. Researchers have argued about this question for decades, and continue to debate it in academic journals. To understand the tension, recall what I said earlier: Universities are trying to figure out applicants’ potential for success. Students’ ability to realize their potential depends both on what they know before they arrive on campus and on being in a supportive academic environment. The tests are supposed to measure prior knowledge, but the nature of how learning works in American society means they end up measuring some other things, too.
In the United States, we have a primary and secondary education system that is unequal because of historic and contemporary laws and policies. American schools continue to be highly segregated by race, ethnicity, and social class, and that segregation affects what students have the opportunity to learn. Well-resourced schools can afford to provide more enriching educational experiences to their students than underfunded schools can. When students take standardized tests, they answer questions based on what they’ve learned, but what they’ve learned depends on the kind of schools they were lucky (or unlucky) enough to attend.
This creates a challenge for test-makers and the universities that rely on their data. They are attempting to assess student aptitude, but the unequal nature of the learning environments in which students have been raised means that tests are also capturing the underlying disparities; that is one of the reasons test scores tend to reflect larger patterns of inequality. When admissions officers see a student with low scores, they don’t know whether that person lacked potential or has instead been deprived of educational opportunity.
So how should colleges and universities use these data, given what they know about the factors that feed into it? The answer depends on how colleges and universities view their mission and broader purpose in society.
From the start, standardized tests were meant to filter students out. A congressional report on the history of testing in American schools describes how, in the late 1800s, elite colleges and universities had become disgruntled with the quality of high-school graduates, and sought a better means of screening them. Harvard’s president first proposed a system of common entrance exams in 1890; the College Entrance Examination Board was formed 10 years later. That orientation—toward exclusion—led schools down the path of using tests to find and admit only those students who seemed likely to embody and preserve an institution’s prestigious legacy. This brought them to some pretty unsavory policies. For example, a few years ago, a spokesperson for the University of Texas at Austin admitted that the school’s adoption of standardized testing in the 1950s had come out of its concerns over the effects of Brown v. Board of Education. UT looked at the distribution of test scores, found cutoff points that would eliminate the majority of Black applicants, and then used those cutoffs to guide admissions.
These days universities often claim to have goals of inclusion. They talk about the value of educating not just children of the elite, but a diverse cross-section of the population. Instead of searching for and admitting students who have already had tremendous advantages and specifically excluding nearly everyone else, these schools could try to recruit and educate the kinds of students who have not had remarkable educational opportunities in the past.
A careful use of testing data could support this goal. If students’ scores indicate a need for more support in particular areas, universities might invest more educational resources into those areas. They could hire more instructors or support staff to work with low-scoring students. And if schools notice alarming patterns in the data—consistent areas where students have been insufficiently prepared—they could respond not with disgruntlement, but with leadership. They could advocate for the state to provide K–12 schools with better resources.
Such investments would be in the nation’s interest, considering that one of the functions of our education system is to prepare young people for current and future challenges. These include improving equity and innovation in science and engineering, addressing climate change and climate justice, and creating technological systems that benefit a diverse public. All of these areas benefit from diverse groups of people working together—but diverse groups cannot come together if some members never learn the skills necessary for participation.
But universities—at least the elite ones—have not traditionally pursued inclusion, through the use of standardized testing or otherwise. At the moment, research on university behavior suggests that they operate as if they were largely competing for prestige. If that’s their mission—as opposed to advancing inclusive education—then it makes sense to use test scores for exclusion. Enrolling students who score the highest helps schools optimize their marketplace metrics—that is, their ranking.
Which is to say, the tests themselves are not the problem. Most components of admissions portfolios suffer from the same biases. In terms of favoring the rich, admissions essays are even worse than standardized tests; the same goes for participation in extracurricular activities and legacy admissions. Yet all of these provide universities with usable information about the kinds of students who may arrive on campus.
None of those data speak for themselves. Historically, the people who interpret and act upon this information have conferred advantages to wealthy students. But they can make different decisions today. Whether universities continue on their exclusive trajectories or become more inclusive institutions does not depend on how their students fill in bubble sheets. Instead, schools must find the answers for themselves: What kind of business are they in, and whom do they exist to serve?
Under the bar association’s procedures, though, the final word on law school admission standards rests with the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which is the association’s accrediting arm. The council last year gave the proposal preliminary approval.
“The Council is disappointed in the House of Delegates’ vote,” Bill Adams, the bar association’s managing director of accreditation and legal education, said in a statement. The council will consider next steps at a Feb. 17 meeting, he said.
The LSAT is the most widely used admission test for law schools. It assesses skills in practicing comprehension, analytical reasoning and logical reasoning, and has long been a prime metric for gatekeepers of law schools. The LSAT poses multiple-choice questions in one part, and in a second part it prompts test-takers to write a persuasive essay under proctored conditions. More than 100,000 people take it annually.
In accurate years, many colleges and universities have adopted test-optional policies for undergraduate admissions. Law schools, though, are required to use admission test scores to meet the bar association’s accrediting standards.
Critics of admission tests say they pose an unnecessary barrier to disadvantaged students who otherwise have strong potential. Proponents say tests provide useful information to admissions officers and help qualified applicants make their case. They also are often used, in combination with grade-point averages and other factors, to help decide whether admitted students will qualify for scholarships.
Even if the bar association drops the mandate for admission test scores, individual law schools still would be allowed to require them.
The debate over the LSAT comes at a moment of unusual flux and scrutiny for legal education, as many prominent law schools have declared opposition to cooperating with U.S. News & World Report’s influential annual rankings. LSAT and GRE scores have long been a part of the U.S. News ranking formula. In addition, many schools are bracing for the possibility that the Supreme Court later this year will reverse decades of precedent and end race-conscious affirmative action in college and university admissions.
Marc L. Miller, dean of the University of Arizona’s law school, said he was disappointed in the House of Delegates vote. The admissions testing requirement, he said, makes law schools “an outlier” in graduate-level professional education. And he said the mandate is “harmful for the widely shared goal of increasing diversity and access in our profession.”
After a lengthy debate, the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates voted down a resolution that would have eliminated the standardized admission test requirement for ABA-accredited law schools.
Resolution 300 failed by voice vote Monday at the policymaking body’s midyear meeting in New Orleans.
The overwhelming majority of colleges and universities in the United States are still not requiring students to submit SAT or ACT scores, continuing a trend that was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to FairTest, an anti-standardized test advocacy group that tracks the number of colleges requiring test scores for admission, 1,075, or 47%, of the nation's 2,278 bachelor's degree-granting institutions had moved to a so-called test-optional admissions application prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number that has now ballooned to 1,839, or nearly 81% of all colleges and universities.
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION HOUSE OF DELEGATES REJECTS BID TO ELIMINATE LSAT
Following the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, the College Board, which administers the SAT, canceled a number of testing dates. As a result, an additional 625 schools did not require fall 2020 applicants to submit test scores. However, most schools with competitive admissions were no longer accepting applications by the time the pandemic lockdowns hit in March 2020, FairTest told the Washington Examiner.
For the fall of 2021, 1,775 colleges moved to test-optional admissions, a number that jumped to 1,835 in 2022 and 1,839 for the fall of 2023, even as the pandemic began to recede and SAT testing schedules resumed as normal. Currently, FairTest says 1,460 institutions have moved permanently to test-optional admissions.
"The College Board and the SAT were founded to increase access to college and that remains our core mission," the College Board told the Washington Examiner in a statement. "During the pandemic, colleges introduced more flexibility and choice into the admissions process. Some students may decide their application is stronger without test scores, while others will benefit from sending them. In fact, in the class of 2022, nearly 1.3 million U.S. students had SAT scores that affirmed or exceeded their high school GPA. That means that their SAT scores were a point of strength on their college applications."
Jeremy Tate, the founder and CEO of the Classic Learning Test, an alternative college entrance exam, said in an interview with the Washington Examiner that while 80% of colleges are still operating on test-optional admissions, he expects a number of colleges to return to the old format of requiring standardized test scores.
"It has gone as far as it's going to go," Tate said of the move toward test-optional admissions. "Now, there is a very slow moving back, but it will never go back to what it was."
Part of why Tate doesn't expect to see a dash to return to standardized test evaluations is that the SAT and the ACT have been hit with accusations that the tests perpetuate systemic racism because certain racial minorities and students from lower income backgrounds tend to have lower test scores.
"There's a war on merit," Tate said. "Mainstream K-12 schools, instead of doing serious reading, writing, and arithmetic, have been doing a lot of political activism, and that's being reflected in test scores. ... And so what do you do? You blame the test as racist."
FairTest describes its mission as "eliminating the racial, class, gender, and cultural barriers to equal opportunity posed by standardized tests, and preventing their damage to the quality of education."
But the College Board says the SAT helps schools achieve their diversity goals.
"To consider every student fairly, colleges look at much more than grades," the College Board said. "The SAT is widely available to millions of students to help them stand out on their application — and more students are taking it for free in their school during the school day. Evidence shows that when colleges consider SAT scores in the context of where students live and go to school ... the SAT helps increase diversity."
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Tate theorized that the movement away from standardized testing in higher education could also be a reaction to previous overemphasis on test scores.
"When I graduated high school in 2000, it was almost like your SAT score was branded on your forehead," he said. "Now, we went to an opposite extreme of 'The test doesn't matter at all.' The logical, sane position is, 'OK, a test is a helpful snapshot into where a student is at in some key academic areas at a given moment in time.' To make it anything more than that is not only unhelpful, but to just totally throw it out as well is not really helpful either."
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Tags: SAT, standardized tests, Higher Education, Education, Race and Diversity
Original Author: Jeremiah Poff
Original Location: More than 80% of US colleges cling to test-optional admissions despite COVID-19 receding
Feb 6 (Reuters) - A bid to end the American Bar Association's longstanding requirement that law schools use the LSAT or other standardized test in admissions has failed for a second time in six years.
The ABA's policy making body on Monday rejected a proposed change to its accreditation standards that would allow law schools to go "test optional" in 2025, following more than an hour of debate at the organization's midyear meeting in New Orleans.
The controversial proposal has divided the legal academy and the ABA itself, with law student diversity emerging as the primary point of contention.
Opponents warned that eliminating the LSAT requirement would make admissions offices more dependent on subjective measures such as the prestige of an applicant’s college, which they say could disadvantage minority applicants.
Those who wanted the rule removed argued that the LSAT is a barrier for minority would-be lawyers because on average they score below white test takers, and because law schools rely too heavily on those scores. A 2019 study found the average score for Black LSAT takers was 142, compared to 153 for white and Asian test takers.
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The Law School Admission Council, which produces and administers the LSAT, lobbied against eliminating the testing requirement, arguing it helps aspiring lawyers assess their ability to succeed in law school before they pursue a costly degree. Most of the nonprofit Council's annual revenue comes from fees associated with the LSAT and law school applications.
"The [House of Delegates] vote will ensure that we have additional time for research into the actual impact of test-optional policies on students and diversity," LSAC president Kellye Testy said in a statement Monday.
The ABA’s Council of Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which handles law school accreditation, has been pushing to eliminate its LSAT requirement since 2017. In November it approved dropping the LSAT requirement, noting that no other professional school accreditor requires an admissions test. That left approval by the House of Delegates as the final step.
A similar proposal fell apart minutes before it was to be considered by the house in 2018, amid opposition from the Law School Admission Council and diversity advocates.
Monday's vote may not represent the end of the road for the test optional camp, however. ABA rules allow the House of Delegates to reject changes to the accreditation standards twice. After that, the legal education council may push the changes through without the house's approval.
ABA votes to end law schools' LSAT requirement, but not until 2025
Proposal to axe LSAT requirement spurs debate over test’s effects on diversity
Reporting by Karen Sloan
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