Yale reinstating standardized test score requirement for admission

Yale University announced Thursday it would be reinstating its test score requirement for admission, becoming the second Ivy League college to bring back SAT and ACT scores.

The school said in a statement it was test-optional for the past four years because of the COVID-19 pandemic and difficulties many students faced in taking the assessments during that period. Yale said with four years of research and data, it has come up with a new policy.

“Yale will again require students to include scores with their applications. But, for the first time, Yale will allow applicants to report Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam scores in lieu of the ACT or SAT,” the statement reads.

The school said it discovered test scores can help increase diversity in its class, and making the scores optional disadvantages students from marginalized backgrounds.

“While evaluating all these applications, our researchers and readers found that when admissions officers reviewed applications with no scores, they placed greater weight on other parts of the application. But this shift frequently worked to the disadvantage of applicants from lower socio-economic backgrounds,” according to the statement.

The university concluded that students from more privileged high schools have better selections of advanced courses, teachers who are used to writing college recommendation letters and better extracurricular activities. Without test scores, other high schools are disadvantaged in these areas, Yale said.

“With our new flexible policy, we hope to empower applicants to put their best foot forward, and to help admission officers respond to excellent students from all contexts. We think the policy better reflects how we consider scores: in combination with other information, mindful of a student’s high school environment, and with the flexibility to admit those promising students whose scores don’t fully represent their potential,” the statement concluded.

Yale is the second Ivy League to reinstate the scores, following closely after Dartmouth announced SAT or ACT scores would be required again.

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