Yale Reinstates Standardized Test Score Requirement For Admissions

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Yale University will once again require standardized test scores for undergraduate admissions, after the school found they were a better indicator of a student’s grades in college, reversing a test-optional policy implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The standardized test requirement will affect students applying for the class of 2029 this fall, Yale announced Thursday, indicating “test scores are the single greatest predictor of a student’s future Yale grades.”

In its decision, Yale cited a study by Dartmouth and Brown University, which found students who opted not to submit ACT or SAT scores achieved “relatively lower college GPAs,” and that high school GPAs do “little to predict academic success in college.”

A test-optional policy boosted the number of applicants since 2020, including “record numbers” of applicants from lower-income families and neighborhoods, though Yale also found the policy “frequently worked to the disadvantage” of applicants from lower socio-economic backgrounds because admissions officers “placed greater weight on other parts of the application.”

Yale said the school will now be “test-flexible” by also accepting International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement exam scores, suggesting “tests can help increase rather than decrease diversity in our class.”

Yale joins Dartmouth College as the only Ivy League schools to reverse to Covid-era policy.

Jeremiah Quinlan, Yale’s dean of undergraduate admissions, said while he believes standardized test scores “are imperfect and incomplete alone,” he also believes “scores can help establish a student’s academic preparedness for college-level work.”

85%. That’s how many colleges in the U.S. don’t require standardized test scores for admissions, according to FairTest, a nonprofit that advocates against standardized testing requirements.

Dartmouth reinstated its standardized test requirement earlier this month, suggesting a combination of test scores and high school grades “are the most reliable indicators for success” at the college. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology also reinstated its test score requirement in 2022.

Yale implemented a test-optional policy for undergraduate admissions in 2020, joining more than a thousand other colleges making similar decisions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The policy was only intended to last for one year, though Yale extended the policy through admissions last fall. Some colleges already had test-optional policies before the pandemic, including Bucknell, Creighton, Farleigh Dickinson and the University of Denver, among others. Columbia University became the first Ivy League school to permanently institute a test-optional policy last year, while Harvard University has a test-optional policy through 2030.

Dartmouth Reinstitutes Standardized Testing Requirement For Undergraduate Admissions (Forbes)

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