The Ivy Coach Daily

April 22, 2020

Cornell University Goes Test-Optional for Class of 2025

Cornell 2025, Cornell Test Optional, Cornell Goes Test Optional
Cornell is test-optional (photo credit: Justin Ennis).

Cornell has joined in on the party! In light of recent testing cancelations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cornell University will not require SAT or ACT exams for applicants to its Class of 2025. And while Cornell has now become the first Ivy League school to go test-optional for next year’s applicants, the university also made it clear that this move is a temporary one in response to this year’s unique circumstances. Cornell has no plans — at least as of now — to go test-optional in perpetuity. As our readers may remember, Tufts University recently announced it would be going test-optional on a temporary basis as well, although their policy shift applies for the next three years. Cornell’s policy shift applies only to next year’s applicants…at least for now. That, of course, can change. And, yes, College Board and ACT are scared. Oh yes they are!

Cornell Rejects Plans by College Board and ACT to Test Virtually

Cornell isn’t shy about voicing its skepticism of College Board’s and ACT’s recently announced plans to test remotely this coming fall. As the Cornell admissions office writes on its website, “Cornell is unable to analyze at this time proposals from ACT and the College Board for offering expanded at-home and other online testing during 2020. While we affirm each of the test-makers’ qualifications, research, and intentions, this method of testing can’t yet be validated as an indicator of college success during the upcoming cycle. Also, though we again credit the efforts the agencies will undertake, it seems likely that differences in access to technology and timing will mean some students will have less chance to succeed through these online testing opportunities than others. Applicants who might choose to undertake any of these options during the months between September and December should submit the results if they’re an accurate reflection of their preparation.”

Cornell Applicants Should Still Submit Test Scores If They Can

Now don’t get too excited about Cornell’s decision to go test-optional next year. As our loyal readers know, even test-optional schools love to see test scores. Heck, Cornell tells it like it is on this matter in its announcement to go test-optional for the Class of 2025. As the Cornell admissions office writes, “In Cornell’s review during the 2020-2021 application cycle, results from the ACT or SAT might still be a meaningful differentiator in particular for students who: live near or attend a school that will be open, and where testing will be offered, or who live near a testing center that will be offering more testing seats or dates than they did in 2019; and have not experienced lost income for one or more of their household providers or other significant new hardships and losses during 2020.” So if you have taken the SAT or ACT or still plan to this fall, don’t change those plans. It would behoove you to submit strong scores to Cornell in spite of the school’s now temporary test-optional policy.

Have a question about Cornell’s new, temporary test-optional policy? Let us know your question by posting it below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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