Peabody is the building, Jack is the dog, and I'm Dean J (she/her, btw).

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Role of Standardized Testing in the #UVA Admission Process

My information sessions are a bit unconventional. I'm told they are helpful because I'm forthright and talk about how we read files instead of just rattling off statistics. I'm thankful that I work at a school where we haven't been pressured to drive up applications, so information sessions can be about helping families understand what we look for in our process and not coaxing more people to apply.

Every now and then, I'll finish a session where I've talked about how we read a file, with heavy emphasis on core classes and rigor, and every question will be about standardized tests. I don't emphasize testing in my talk, as it's a four-hour component of the application and the other parts of the application represent years of development.

Every component of the application is important, but remember that the 6-7 semesters of work we see in your transcript will take precedence over a couple Saturday mornings taking a standardized test.

Remember that UVA superscores the tests as well. Back in the paper days, we'd circle the top score for each section of the exams. When we went paperless over a decade ago, we taught our system to superscore for us. Our system automatically pulls the best scores from the SAT and ACT for us to review. We explain this in the application instructions.

One tip for ACT takers: Don't calculate a new ACT composite score on your own. Report your scores as they appear on your score report. There's a reason for this...

When to Send Official Scores
You will be required to send official score reports if you are admitted and decide to enroll at UVA. We check each official score report against what was self-reported on the application. The students who calculate new composite ACT scores get flagged in that process as having reported incorrect scores.

What are your questions about how UVA looks at standardized testing?