April 12, 2004
Susan Beasy Latto, UMD Director of Public Relations (218) 726-8830 firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Minnesota to Adopt
New Writing Test for Admissions
Requirement Will Apply to Twin Cities, Duluth and Morris Campuses
The University of Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, Duluth, and Morris campuses, will require fall 2006 freshman applicants to take either the writing portion of the ACT or SAT I standardized tests.
"Effective writing is critical to success at the university and professionally," said Christine Maziar, U of M senior vice president and provost on the Twin Cities campus. "Requiring a writing sample is a clear and unambiguous way for the university to underscore the importance we place on writing skills."
The university's new requirement will apply to applicants for the Twin Cities, Duluth and Morris campuses.
Both the SAT and ACT college entrance tests will begin incorporating a writing sample in spring 2005. Both tests will include a written essay and multiple choice questions on grammar, usage and word choice. The SAT I is requiring the writing exam, while the ACT is offering it as optional to students, but it will be required by the university. The test will add 30 minutes to the ACT exam time and 50 minutes to the SAT I exam time. Currently, more than 90 percent of freshman applicants to the university submit scores from the ACT test.
In adopting the writing requirement, the university joins 10 other Big Ten institutions, which have already done so. The university has consulted about the decision with school superintendents around the state and found strong support for the writing requirement.
University of Minnesota admissions decisions are based on a holistic review of each student, with a primary focus on academic achievement. The writing sample will be an additional piece of information used in this review; it will not replace any other factor. In addition to assisting with admissions decisions, the writing sample will help the university appropriately place students in first year-writing courses, which are a requirement for all freshmen.