The University of Pennsylvania’s admissions office has announced that the school will go test-optional for applicants to the Class of 2025. This means the school will not require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores, though UPenn’s admissions office has made clear that optional means optional…meaning students still can submit SAT or ACT scores. As our loyal readers know all too well, test-optional policies don’t mean all that much to us. Only when a school forbids the submission of test scores — as MIT and Yale have done with SAT Subject Tests (in MIT’s case, the decision seems to be in perpetuity while in Yale’s case, the decision is, as of now, only for the Class of 2025), do we believe the policy change is worth the paper it’s written on.
In fact, we encourage our readers to read between the lines of UPenn’s language in the very announcement in which the school cites it’s going test-optional: “Penn Admissions acknowledges the benefits and limitations built into standardized tests. Beyond the admissions process, test results help institutions guide and support enrolling students. We also know that a single examination does not capture the ability, preparation, and potential of all students in an equal way. For this reason, standardized testing has always been only one part of a larger review process that considers many factors, including the rigor of coursework and performance in these courses. Penn Admissions will continue to review students, on an individual basis, consistent with our belief in a comprehensive whole-person review process.” Yes, Penn writes how test results “help institutions guide and support enrolling students.”
What do our readers think of elite institutions like UPenn, Dartmouth, Columbia, Cornell, and others choosing to go test-optional for the Class of 2025? Let us know your thoughts, your suggestions, and what you ate for breakfast by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!
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