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The Rise of Test Optional Admissions

In June 2018, the University of Chicago made an announcement on Twitter that set off shock waves within the world of college admissions. The Washington Post called it a “watershed, cracking what had been a solid and enduring wall of support for the primary admission tests among the two dozen most prestigious research universities.” The University released a statement indicating that they would no longer require applicants to submit any standardized test scores.

There have long been active discussions around the submission of ACT and/or SAT scores and colleges have often been accused of merely attempting to boost their application numbers or trying to attract a wider diversity of applicants by removing them as requirements. The movement started with smaller colleges that were more easily able to experiment with their applicant pool, and then carefully study the results of going test optional. Interestingly, those early results revealed limited differences in academic performance between those who submitted scores and those who did not. These same findings are widely reported by many colleges and universities.

Read more DEC Newsletter October 2019

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