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Harvard University to again require standardized tests for admissions

The Harvard University campus in 2008 Associated Press/Photo by Lisa Poole, file

Harvard University to again require standardized tests for admissions

Harvard University said Thursday that it was reinstating its requirement that prospective students provide standardized test results with their application for the 2025 academic year. It said SAT and ACT tests are preferable, but that AP exam scores, IB test scores, GCSE/A-Level scores, and National Leaving Exam results can be used in some cases.

In June 2020 Harvard told high school seniors applying for Harvard's 2021-22 academic year that they would not face penalties for failing to provide SAT or ACT results. On an application supplemental document, the school allowed students to check a box saying they would like their application evaluation to be based on alternative material, rather than test results.

Why didn’t Harvard require them previously? When it suspended its standardized test requirement in 2020, the school cited the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on prospective students from low-income families. The Harvard student newspaper The Harvard Crimson reported earlier this year that the school had also sought to eliminate what it saw as a potential roadblock to minority students by removing the requirement.

Are other Ivy league schools readjusting their requirements? The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2020 also suspended its standardized testing requirement amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But in March 2022 MIT Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services Stuart Schmill said the school would reinstate the requirement, as it helped the school better assess students from all backgrounds.

Yale similarly said it was reinstating its standardized test requirements earlier this year after four academic years without them. They are now required for applicants for the 2025 academic year.

Dig deeper: Listen to Mary Reichard’s discussion with Ilya Shapiro on The World and Everything in It podcast about the lack of moral clarity demonstrated by Ivy league presidents in congressional testimony last year.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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