When colleges announce they’re making entrance exams optional, they publicly embrace a holistic stance: standardized tests are incomplete scorecards on how a student will fare in college; they favor families who can afford test prep, while minority students tend not to do well.
Cynics cite additional motives. ...
The crush of applications makes colleges look more selective, and because low-scorers are less likely to share their results with admissions officers, score averages can be artificially higher. That’s information students scrutinize when deciding where to apply. Applicants should also know that some colleges continue to use standardized test scores to divide up merit aid.
--Lynn O'Shaughnessy, NYT, on truncated distributions