Harvard Reverses Course, Brings Back Standardized Testing

by Kate Anderson


Harvard announced Thursday that it will bring back standardized testing requirements for the admission process.

The Ivy League school first dropped the testing policy in June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and later announced in 2021 that it would extend the test-optional policy for four additional years, according to the Harvard Crimson. Hopi Hoekstra, Edgerley Family dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, announced that the requirement would return “starting with next year’s admissions cycle” and claimed that the reinstatement would bring “important information back into the admissions process.”

DCNF-logo“This decision to return to requiring testing was motivated by a number of factors,” Hoekstra wrote. “Standardized tests are a means for all students, regardless of their background and life experience, to provide information that is predictive of success in college and beyond.”

“Indeed, when students have the option of not submitting their test scores, they may choose to withhold information that, when interpreted by the admissions committee in the context of the local norms of their school, could have potentially helped their application,” she continued. “In short, more information, especially such strongly predictive information, is valuable for identifying talent from across the socioeconomic range.”

Students who are unable to take the ACT or the SAT can apply to take a “set of alternative standardized tests” to fulfill the application requirement, according to the announcement. Hoekstra emphasized that student’s “experiences, skills, talents, and contributions to their communities, as well as their academic qualifications” would also continue to make up a significant portion of Harvard’s “whole-person admissions process.”

“Fundamentally, we know that talent is universal, but opportunity is not,” Hoekstra wrote in the announcement. “With this change, we hope to strengthen our ability to identify these promising students and to give Harvard the opportunity to support their development as thinkers and leaders who will contribute to shaping our world.”

Other elite universities have also gone back to requiring standardized testing, including DartmouthBrown University, Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Kate Anderson is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Harvard University Banner” by Manu Ros.



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