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Brown University will maintain a test-optional policy for all first-year, transfer and Resumed Undergraduate Education applicants in the 2023-2024 admission cycle. Applicants will still be required to submit English proficiency scores and adhere to requirements for varsity athletics.
The University is the last Ivy League college to announce test-optional extensions through 2024. Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth all extended their test-optional policy beyond the upcoming admissions cycle, and Columbia announced March 1 it would permanently switch to test-optional admissions. Penn and Yale have confirmed that they will be test-optional for the 2023-24 cycle, while Cornell has extended the policy through the next two cycles. “These tests represent only one component in our admissions process in conjunction with other academic and non-academic factors,” Penn said in its announcement.
The College of William & Mary has also announced it will do away with standardized test scores “indefinitely”. A test-optional college is an institution that allows students to apply for admission without necessarily submitting standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT. This approach acknowledges that a single test score might not accurately capture a student's academic capabilities and potential. By offering test-optional admissions, colleges allow applicants to showcase their strengths in other areas, such as grades, course rigor, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, community service, and personal essays.
On the other hand, many universities went back to their pre-Covid policies of requiring test scores, MIT being one of the top institutions to do so. Other universities like Georgetown, Georgia Tech and the University of Florida alo require test scores. These policies come as the SAT goes digital for international students. While many experts welcome the move away from standardized testing, others claim that test scores are not the only factor skewed due to socioeconomic factors. It remains to be seen whether the new format of the SAT will change some policies.