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Elite University Reverses Course, Goes Back To Requiring Standardized Tests

Dartmouth College announced Monday that it is reversing course on its testing policy by reinstating its use of standardized testing in its admissions process.

The school had previously suspended its testing requirements in June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release. However, the college said Monday that research on the matter showed testing is correlated with academic success and that some “low-income” students who would be admitted with their test scores withheld their test scores due to the policy.

“Nearly four years later, having studied the role of testing in our admissions process as well as its value as a predictor of student success at Dartmouth, we are removing the extended pause and reactivating the standardized testing requirement for undergraduate admission, effective with the Class of 2029,” a press release announcing the move reads.

“For Dartmouth, the evidence supporting our reactivation of a required testing policy is clear. Our bottom line is simple: we believe a standardized testing requirement will improve—not detract from—our ability to bring the most promising and diverse students to our campus,” the press release continued.

Other elite colleges such as Brown University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University suspended their requirements for potential students to submit standardized testing scores in the summer of 2020. Columbia University suspended its standardized testing policy in the summer of 2020 and made the standard permanent in March 2023.

However, MIT reversed course on its policy and reinstated testing requirements in March 2022.

“The evidence remains strong that standardized testing predicts college success. Since test scores tend to differ by identity group, many colleges used the pandemic disruption as an opportunity to forgo test requirements. Elite colleges may now find out that test requirements are important,” Adam Kissel, visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Dartmouth College did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.


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