Testing requirements are quickly going out the window for next year’s batch of college applicants to the Class of 2025. Among the Ivy League institutions, SAT Subject Tests will be optional at seven of the eight schools, while the tests “will not be considered” at Yale University. For international students for whom English is not their native tongue, the TOEFL/IELTS exams will be optional at Columbia University and Harvard University, while they will be recommended at Brown University and Yale. They remain required at the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, and Princeton University. The SAT or ACT remain required for next year’s applicants at all but one Ivy League institution: Cornell.
Test Scores Still Matter at Test-Optional Schools
As loyal readers of our college admissions blog know all too well, test-optional schools still love test scores. In fact, we would argue that test-optional schools love test scores even more than do test mandatory schools. And why? Because these schools still need to report test scores to US News & World Report. Test scores still impact their all-important rankings. So when a school goes test-optional, it just means a smaller pool of applicants submit scores which invariably makes applicants who submit scores bigger fish in a smaller pond of test scores.
Only if a School Forbids the Submission of Test Scores Do They Really Not Matter
The only time when a school is really telling it like it is — that the scores won’t impact applicants’ cases for admission — is when schools outright forbid applicants from self-reporting and/or sending score reports. Yale did just that this year with SAT Subject Tests. As Pia Singh reports for The Daily Pennsylvanian in a piece entitled “Here’s how Ivy League universities are changing testing requirements for the Class of 2025,” “Yale will not consider any submitted SAT Subject Tests for first-year applicants, and the University’s Admissions Committee has advised applicants to the Class of 2025 to neither self-report nor send their Subject Test scores.”
So, as a rule of thumb, if a school goes test-optional, smile, nod, and submit those test scores. They still matter…big time. If a school forbids students from submitting certain scores like SAT Subject Tests — as Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have done this year — know that they really do mean it, that those scores really won’t impact the admissions process at these institutions.
You are permitted to use www.ivycoach.com (including the content of the Blog) for your personal, non-commercial use only. You must not copy, download, print, or otherwise distribute the content on our site without the prior written consent of The Ivy Coach, Inc.