MIT Requires College Applicants To Submit SAT & ACT Testing Scores

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge has announced they will be reinstating the SAT/ACT requirement for incoming college applicants.

MIT's Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services Stuart Schmill said that standardized tests help the school's admissions team "identify and assess students from all backgrounds."

According to the MIT, the requirement was suspended in 2020 and 2021 from the COVID-19 pandemic that kept a number of high school students from safely taking the exams. But with the emergence of effective vaccinations, expansion of the free in-school SAT, and the introduction of the digital SAT, the school said they are bringing testing requirements back.

"Our research shows standardized tests help us better assess the academic preparedness of all applicants, and also help us identify socioeconomically disadvantaged students who lack access to advanced coursework or other enrichment opportunities that would otherwise demonstrate their readiness for MIT," Schmill said on the school's admissions page.

The change will apply to students applying to MIT this year, school officials said.

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"Our research can’t explain why these tests are so predictive of academic preparedness for MIT, but we believe it is likely related to the centrality of mathematics — and mathematics examinations — in our education," the MIT official said.

FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing Executive Director Bob Schaeffer said that he finds the reinstatement to be an "unfortunate decision."

FairTest said they found at least 1,400 institutions have extended test-optional policies at least through the fall of 2023.

 “Schools that did not require standardized exam score submission for fall 2021 admission – current first-year undergraduates -- generally received more applicants, better academically qualified applicants, and more diverse pools of applicants. With such positive results, there’s no rational reason to restore test-score requirements," Schaeffer said.

WBZ's Brooke McCarthy (@BrookeWBZ) reports.

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