The University will extend its test-optional policy for all applicants through the 2022-23 admission cycle due to “extraordinary circumstances” that many students continue to face, according to a Tuesday announcement on the Admission Office’s website.
The University originally implemented a test-optional policy in June 2020 and later extended it through the 2021-22 application cycle to protect applicants’ health and address extenuating circumstances stemming from the pandemic, Dean of Admission Logan Powell previously told The Herald.
This year’s announcement did not offer a specific reason for the extension, but it aligned with similar announcements made by Harvard, Cornell and Columbia. The University’s admission policy decisions are “completely independent of our peer institutions,” Powell wrote in an email to The Herald.
The University’s announcement also came the same morning that the College Board announced it would make the SAT shorter and entirely digital.
“It is encouraging to hear the news that the SAT has found ways to evolve to meet the needs of students,” Powell wrote. “We also welcome any change that allows for greater flexibility and security in the test taking environment.”
When asked how first-year applicants should think about their test score if they choose to send it in, Powell emphasized the “individual and contextual” nature of the University’s admission process.“What we have said from the beginning … is that for students who feel that their standardized testing helps demonstrate or showcase their academic ability in context, they’re welcome to submit those test scores,” he told The Herald in an interview.
“If a student feels like their test scores are not representative of their best academic ability or if they didn’t take the SAT or ACT, they don’t have to submit it and it is not a disadvantage in our process,” Powell added.
The announcement clarified that the test-optional policy would “be evaluated again before the 2023-24 application cycle begins” and that “continued research and assessment is needed and will guide policy decisions in the coming years.” It additionally noted that the data gathered from this year will inform “longer-term testing policies.”
“The Class of 2025 is the first to be admitted under the test optional policy,” Powell wrote, “and we can learn from their academic experiences at Brown.”