Yale Reinstituting Standardized Tests For Admission

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Feb 25, 2024 - 07:35 PM

After a humiliating year for elite universities, culminating in the Presidents of UPenn, MIT and Harvard embarrassing themselves in front of congress before Harvard's Claudine Gay was slapped with plagiarism allegations, it looks like a small sliver of common sense could be making its way back to the Ivy League.

That's because it was reported last week that Yale is once again instituting standardized tests for admission after years of keeping them optional for "DEI" reasons. 

The university's undergraduate admissions dean announced a change in their student selection process amidst ongoing debate over the efficacy of traditional tests. Critics argue these exams don't fully capture a student's potential, suggesting high school GPAs as a more accurate measure. The move, seen as a step towards fairness for disadvantaged students, aligns Yale with institutions like Harvard, MIT, and Dartmouth, which have already adjusted their admissions policies, according to The Daily Mail.

Undergrad Admissions Dean Jeremiah Quinlan stated: "Standardized tests are imperfect and incomplete alone, but I also believe scores can help establish a student’s academic preparedness for college-level work."

"When used together with other elements in an application, especially a high school transcript, test scores help establish the academic foundation for any case we consider," he continued. 

Quinlan added: "Test scores convey a relatively small amount of information compared with the rich collection of insights and evidence we find in a complete application."

"Simply put, students with higher scores have been more likely to have higher Yale GPAs, and test scores are the single greatest predictor of a student’s performance in Yale courses in every model we have constructed," he said. 

"We have further found a statistically significant difference in average GPA between those who applied with and without test scores," Quinlan said. 

The Daily Mail wrote that the move away from mandatory standardized test scores resulted in a 166% surge in applications, from 35,000 to over 57,000, without significantly increasing the number of academically strong applicants. Similarly, MIT's Dean of Admissions, Stuart Schmill, noted that reinstating standardized tests in 2022 led to a more diverse and academically prepared incoming class, underscoring that high grades alone do not predict student success. Dartmouth College has also followed suit, revisiting its admissions criteria.

Along the same vein, last week we published that elite colleges were once again reconsidering SAT score requirements. 

According to Axios, multiple colleges used the pandemic as an excuse to weaken the importance of SAT and ACT test scores in most student applications. But in recent weeks, several schools have reversed course; Yale is considering repealing its prior policy of making SAT/ACT requirements optional, with Dartmouth already reinstating the requirements earlier this month. MIT reversed a similar policy back in 2022.

Other schools that have eliminated SAT/ACT requirements include Harvard and Columbia. Harvard, along with Cornell and Princeton, have extended their policy of making the scores optional, while Columbia’s policy remains permanent.

One of the motivating factors behind the reversal is ongoing research showing a clear correlation between students’ standardized test scores, and their subsequent academic performance and graduation rates in college. Some schools had previously opposed the test requirements for reasons of “diversity,” baselessly accusing the tests of being “racist” and against minority students.

Could we be entering an era of school's starting to rid themselves of their woke ideologies? We'll see - needless to say, we're not optimistic...