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The Lafayette Ledger

The Lafayette Ledger

SAT requirements coming back?

After several years of test-optional, Dartmouth becomes first Ivy League school to bring back the policy…
Dartmouth College stands as a background. The Ivy League School is the first to bring back the standardardized testing policies
Bing Guan
Dartmouth College stands as a background. The Ivy League School is the first to bring back the standardardized testing policies

If you thought that the SATS and ACTS are no longer important or needed for the dreaded college application, think again…Dartmouth College,commonly known as the “tiny” ivy league school way up north, has recently released surprising news related to their standardized testing policies for future classes. Unlike the well-known Harvard and Princeton, Dartmouth announced that they will now require the SAT and ACT for undergraduate admission applicants, beginning with the class of 2029 ( high school class of 2025). This recent announcement has caused many high schoolers viewpoints to change regarding signing up and actually studying for the SAT.

On February 4th, 2024, the Dartmouth College Admissions website, along with the school’s various social media accounts, made the announcement that perhaps changed the viewpoints and perspectives of many ambitious high school students. As Dartmouth is one among the many colleges who made standardized test scores optional in the admission process during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now the first Ivy League school to reinstate the policy. Dartmouth had stated and addressed this new change by describing how recent research had actually found standardized tests to be well predictive of post-college success in students. Furthermore, both Harvard University and the National Bureau of Economic Research backed up this statements by explaining how standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT can define success through future monetary outcomes and “elite employment status. Dartmouth College had personally stated in their public announcement how they are returning to testing requirements as the test-scores can be “helpful and crucial in identifying students from less-resourced backgrounds who might succeed at Dartmouth but might otherwise be missed in a test-optional environment. This has caused many different opinions to arise and to address certain viewpoints, students from Lafayette were asked to share their opinions on this change or thoughts about future top schools returning to requiring standardized test score.

Laying on a bed, an SAT practice book is opened. In preparation for the new standardized testing policies enacted first by Dartmouth, studying for the SAT should now be considered an important priority. (Valentina Martiniello)

Responses had were mostly centered around disappointment and the feeling of additional stress being placed on students. Moreover, a sophomore responded with ” I’m just not an amazing standardized test-taker. I can do well in my classes and am obviously smart and think that reinstating these requirements aren’t helping students, as they can’t accurately measure intelligence”. With mostly negative responses surrounding students’ views on standardized testing requirements, it can be observed how this new policy in the college application process can further hurt students in admissions. While this new announcement might be surprising, other top or prestigious universities have been holding the standardized testing requirements for the last few years. Schools such as Georgetown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Florida, and Georgia Tech have always held the standardized testing requirements in college admissions. With Dartmouth breaking the silence after a long time, it is likely foreseen that many other notable universities will follow in its footsteps, and may soon also implement standardized testing requirements.

Students sit on the lawn of a college campus. Dartmouth college students are shown to be gathered around campus.
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