Yale Joins Dartmouth College in Reintroducing Standardized Testing Requirement for Applicants

United States North America Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Feb 26, 2024

Yale University

Yale University has joined Dartmouth College in reintroducing the standardized testing requirement for applicants, ending a nearly four-year period with a test-optional policy, the school has announced.

The Ivy League school has also expanded its list of tests. In addition to the SAT and ACT, it will, for the first time, accept scores from Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, Erudera.com reports.

“For nearly four years Yale’s undergraduate admissions process has been test-optional. The experience, originally necessitated by the pandemic, has been an invaluable opportunity to think deeply about testing policy and to generate new data and analyses,” Yale said while announcing the change.

According to the university, the new policy is a product of four years of research, aiming to create a diverse student body, admitting high-achieving students whose strengths could contribute to a rich environment.

However, in its statement, Yale reassures students it will not assess them based only on their test scores, as it is aware no exam can fully predict every student’s readiness for college.

The school has also explained that the change aims to increase the acceptance rate for students from low-income backgrounds and underrepresented minorities.

Commenting on the policy, the dean of undergraduate admissions, Jeremiah Quinlan, said that although, over the past years, Yale received a pool of applicants with the most economic and racial diversity in the school’s history, the lack of test scores was, at times, a disadvantage for these students.

“For students attending high schools with fewer resources, applications without scores can inadvertently leave admissions officers with scant evidence of their readiness for Yale,” Quinlan said in an interview with Yale News.

“When students attending these high schools include a score with their application — even a score below Yale’s median range — they give the committee greater confidence that they are likely to achieve academic success in college.”

There are 11,934 students at Yale University, including undergraduates, graduates and professional students. About 22 percent of the undergraduate student body at Yale is international. These students come from 119 different countries.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Yale and many other schools chose a test-optional policy. This allowed applicants to decide whether to provide scores from exams such as the SAT and ACT when applying to Yale.

Dartmouth College became the first Ivy League school to reinstate the requirement for standardized test scores on February 5. Dartmouth was also one of the hundreds of schools that became test-optional in response to the pandemic in June 2020.

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