Ramaswamy: Add physical fitness section to SAT

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on Monday suggested adding a physical fitness section to the SAT standardized test as a “pro-merit solution” after the Supreme Court effectively ended race-based admissions policies at colleges.

“Now that the Supreme Court finally ended affirmative action, colleges will only further deprioritize SAT scores in favor of subjective factors because of large racial disparities in test results,” Ramaswamy said in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“There’s a simple way forward that will drive excellence and diversity of talent among incoming college classes: the College Board should add a physical fitness section to the SAT, instead of just math and reading sections,” the presidential contender proposed. 

Ramaswamy suggested the test could consist of “a 1-mile run, pull-ups, sit-ups, shuttle run, etc.” and serve as a means to address ”multiple cultural & health challenges” in the country — though he clarified the position is not formally a part of his presidential campaign platform. 

“This is a pro-merit solution that rewards diverse talents: it’s a fact that those who perform well on math & reading tests tend to perform more poorly on the 1-mile run, and vice versa,” Ramaswamy said. 

The SAT is an exam administered to high school students that has long been required by many colleges and universities as part of the admissions process, though some institutions have switched to “test-optional” applications in recent years. 

The Supreme Court in June ruled to severely restrict the use of race as a factor in college admissions, ruling 6-3 against race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and effectively ending affirmative action programs.

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Many Republicans praised the decision, while Democrats knocked it as a blow to diversity in the college admissions process.

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