You don't have to restrict majors to see the value of higher ceiling tests. That is why MIT, Caltech etc ask for optional AMC series scores.

If HYP, Stanford, and MIT endorsed higher level essay exams in say Math, History, or English, kids would take them. They would be expensive to develop and administer. They would scare off many applicants. However they would allow more academic selection vs using extracurrics. The problem with APs etc is that the ceiling is way too low in all subjects for the super-elite schools.

ETA: I see the value of the flexible US system but believe super high academic achievement in any field has greater predictive value than extracurrics. I'd rather have a 700+ SAT M kid with a super exam result in history/english as a future STEM major vs a 700+ SAT M student body president. Any future slippery slope of only taking kids with both high normal score and high elite scores in the same subject couldn't be worse that our current system which is essentially a lottery for gifted kids.

Last edited by raptor_dad; 09/12/14 10:23 AM.