Yale Reinstates Standard Testing For Admissions

Ivy League Yale University is reinstating its standardized testing for applicants in 2025. In a statement released mid-February, Yale officials said they had reevaluated admissions policies and found that optional testing disadvantaged lower-income, first-generation, and rural students, who tend to have less access to advanced courses and more often rely on generalized recommendations from teachers with large classes. Furthermore, officials said extracurricular activities do not help Yale determine applicants’ academic abilities without standardized tests.  

Under new rules, applicants can include ACT, SAT, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate sources to fulfill testing requirements, and all will be treated equally. Students will also be permitted to explain bad grades by describing any relevant external circumstances that impacted their ability to study.

Jeremiah Quinlan, Undergrad Admissions Dean, said standardized tests are imperfect but can establisha student’s academic preparedness for college-level work.” He added that the tests are particularly valuable for assessing students from high schools with less access to academic resources and that their reintroduction should prompt more applicants from pupils of various economic backgrounds. 

Stuart Schmill, dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), agreed with Quinlan’s assessment and said that since his school reintroduced standardized testing in 2022, the student body has become much more diverse. 

Many schools suspended standardized testing in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on schools. When MIT brought it back in 2022, Mr. Schmitt emphasized the difficulty in assessing a student’s chances of success based only on grades or coursework. He said, however, that perfect scores are not necessarily the aim. “A perfect score isn’t sufficient to say you’ll succeed at MIT,” he declared. 

Harvard has dropped its standardized testing requirement until 2026, having suspended it in 2020 along with others. Meanwhile, Dartmouth announced on February 5 that its testing will return next year. The New Hampshire school also has a “need-blind” admissions policy, meaning an applicant’s financial situation is not considered.