By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Until recently, the ACT college admissions test was the stepchild of the SAT. Although not a single college requires it, ambitious college applicants to the most selective colleges and universities are taking both the SAT and the ACT.

About a quarter of the applicants at Cornell, MIT and Stanford took both in 2012.

The SAT is not losing customers but more people are taking the ACT because 12 states now require and pay for all public high school juniors to take the test. For these reasons, the ACT pulled ahead in numbers last year. Some schools have 10th graders taking the practice in both as prep.

In an article titled ‘Testing,Testing‘ in The New York Times, Education Life supplement, Robert Schaeffer, public education director of FairTest, an advocacy group critical of standardized testing, is quoted as saying neither test should be required. His organization lists hundreds of colleges that are test-optional.

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