The University Insider is The Daily’s first faculty and staff-oriented newsletter. This weekly newsletter will give U-M faculty and staff the ability to see the most important issues on campus and in Ann Arbor — particularly those related to administrative decisions — from the perspective of an independent news organization. It will also provide a better understanding of student perspectives.
The University of Michigan’s Department of History announced in a press release Friday that Graduate Record Examinations scores will no longer be used as a criteria for admission into the PhD program. University officials cited the high cost of taking the test and the ineffectiveness of standardized tests to determine a student’s fitness for the program as reasons for eliminating the GRE requirement.
According to the press release, the test can cost more than $200 to take, not including the high price of preparation books and tutoring that many students use to train for taking the exam.
The Department also noted how standardized tests are often catered to more wealthy or well-represented groups, putting minorities and international students at a disadvantage when other aspects of their applications are strong enough to qualify them for entry.
A study published in 2014 found that, in the physical sciences, around 5 percent of minorities scored above 700 — today a 166, in the 96th percentile — on the quantitative section of the GRE, while 82 percent of white and Asian test-takers earned this score. The study also found that on the old scaling system, women scored an average of 80 points lower than men.
The Department of History said they will focus on qualitative measures of student success, like essays, grades and letters of recommendation, when admitting students to the program.