Due to the Covid 19 outbreak SAT & ACT standardized tests have been cancelled, leaving many students, local and international, feeling despondent about what to do to meet test admission requirements for US universities. For international students this is much concerning as they have fewer opportunities to write the SAT abroad. But Many universities have gone test optional for the 2021 admissions cycle.
Some selective institutions, like Tufts university, are actually extending this beyond the 2021 intake. MIT has waived the subject tests requirements. Could this be the beginning of the end for standardized test requirements in the USA? Highly unlikely! But it does open the door for more “flexible” admission policies, especially for international students. Some institutions already have this in place. For example, New York University allows students to use other means of standardized testing “to be eligible for admission.”
What does this mean for international students looking at some Top Universities in the USA? In my opinion, it has levelled the field in that competition will be academics for academics, and removes the hurdle of standardized tests that are specifically aimed at US High School Students. Having been a US College & University Counselor for many years at both local & international American High Schools, I know first hand that our schools prepare our students for such tests from as early as grade 9 through PSAT’s, and other tests that follow the same test conditions. My international students walk to the SAT / ACT examinations with little exposure, besides test prep courses or Khan Academy test simulations.
The upcoming university admission season will be very interesting to say the least. I will be eagerly observing it with high hopes for my international students.
Here is a list of those universities who have WAIVED the SAT/ ACT requirements thus far. (I will keep updating as more news comes in so do visit regularly). Be sure to also check fairtest.org for universities that already have adopted test optional policies.