Ivy League’s Dartmouth College Ends Test-Optional Policy After Nearly 4 Years

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Feb 06, 2024

Darthmouth college

Dartmouth College will reintroduce the standardized testing requirement for undergraduate applicants, beginning with the Class of 2029.

The Ivy League school joined most colleges and universities in becoming test-optional in June 2020 in response to the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, Erudera News reports.

“At the time, we imagined the resulting “test-optional” policy as a short-term practice rather than an informed commentary on the role of testing in our holistic evaluation process,” Dartmouth College said in a statement on February 5, 2024.

Now, nearly four years later, the school has decided to remove the extended pause and reintroduce the mandate for undergraduate applicants. Students can submit the SAT or ACT results, as the college accepts both.

The primary reason behind this decision is the impact of the policy on the admission process, proving to be a reliable measure of student success at the college.

With this move, the college believes it will bring the most promising and diverse student body to its campuses.

“Our bottom line is simple: we believe a standardized testing requirement will improve—not detract from—our ability to bring the most promising and diverse students to our campus,” the statement reads.

International students must submit either the SAT, ACT, or three Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, predicted or final exam results from the International Baccalaureate (IB), British A-Levels, or an equivalent standardized national exam.

In its statement, the college cited a new research study commissioned by Dartmouth President Sian Beilock and conducted by college economists and an educational sociologist, Michele Tine, which found test scores helped select talented applicants with lower and middle-income levels.

Researchers said that standardized tests are a crucial source of information about students who can succeed in a college environment, including high-achieving individuals who might have attended a high school less known to Dartmouth.

“Simply said, it is another opportunity to identify students who are the top performers in their environments, wherever they might be,” researchers stressed.

Despite Dartmouth being test-optional earlier, students were still permitted to submit their test scores, including the SAT or the ACT, if they preferred to do so.

Dartmouth College is the smallest university among the eight Ivy League schools. It has an enrollment of about 6,700 students, including undergraduates and graduates, in the 2022/23 academic year.

The school admitted 606 students to the Class of 2028 from a record-high pool of 3,550 applicants, an 18 percent increase from the previous year.

© Dartmouth's Twitter Account | Unsplash

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