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Yale Joins Dartmouth in Reinstating a Standardized Test Score Requirement

Feb 26, 2024

At the beginning of 2024, I wrote for Forbes that test-optional policies would soon be retired and that “with the looming reinstatement of testing requirements, students should start preparing and practicing early in order to achieve their goal score and stand out to top schools.” In February, Dartmouth became the first Ivy League to reinstate the standardized test score requirement, signaling that other Ivy League institutions may soon follow suit as their announced policies neared their expiration dates. Last week, Yale joined Dartmouth in announcing the end of their test-optional admissions policy.

Students applying for fall 2025 admission will be required to submit scores for one of four standardized tests as part of their Yale applications. The university made the groundbreaking move to allow students to submit “Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam scores in lieu of the ACT or SAT.”

Like Dartmouth, Yale noted that test-optional policies inadvertently disadvantaged underprivileged and marginalized students in the application process—without test scores, greater weight is placed on other application components. However, the announcement notes that: “Students’ out-of-school commitments may include activities that demonstrate extraordinary leadership and contributions to family and community but reveal nothing about their academic preparedness. With no test scores to supplement these components, applications from students attending these schools may leave admissions officers with scant evidence of their readiness for Yale.”

Though the standardized testing component has been re-introduced, Yale reiterated its commitment to holistic admissions practices. The announcement states: “Yale has not, does not, and will never rely on testing alone to assess student preparedness. We read applications holistically, using all the information available to paint a picture of a student’s strengths and potential to contribute to a college community. An application is like a jigsaw puzzle: the picture is not complete without all its pieces.”

With Yale’s announcement, the Ivy League test-optional policies stand as follows:

Brown | Extended through the Class of 2028
Columbia | Extended indefinitely
Cornell | Extended through the Class of 2029
Dartmouth | Terminated
Harvard | Extended through the Class of 2030
Penn | Extended through the Class of 2028
Princeton | Extended through the Class of 2030
Yale | Terminated

This trend toward the reinstatement of standardized testing means that students need to thoroughly strategize and prepare for the SAT or ACT, and prioritize achieving their goal scores. For information about how you can achieve your goal score on the SAT or ACT, check out Command Education’s comprehensive guide to standardized testing!

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