Yale Revives Standardized Testing in Admissions

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Yale University announced Thursday that it will again require undergraduate first-year and transfer applicants to take some form of standardized test starting in fall 2025. The list of accepted tests will expand from the university’s previous requirements of the SAT or ACT to include international baccalaureate (IB) and advanced placement (AP) exams.

In 2020, along with nearly 1,900 colleges and universities including other Ivy League institutions, Yale made standardized testing optional in its admissions process. In a statement announcing the policy change, Jeremiah Quinlan, dean of admissions and financial aid, reversed course and argued that standardized tests are one of the best measures of a student’s academic success in college and that their use, in conjunction with other factors, can help disadvantaged students.

“Standardized tests are imperfect and incomplete alone, but I also believe scores can help establish a student’s academic preparedness for college-level work,” Quinlan wrote. “When used together with other elements in an application, especially a high school transcript, test scores help establish the academic foundation for any case we consider.”

Opponents of standardized testing, however, assert that test scores are not the best method to measure a student’s potential because performance is generally linked to access to often costly preparatory materials and services. In particular, some experts argue that the tests are biased against students of color and unfairly benefit students from more privileged backgrounds. 

Yale follows the lead of Dartmouth University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, two other Ivy League schools who reinstated testing policies earlier this month and in March 2022, respectively.