Vice Provost: Standardized Test Scores Will Be Optional

Dartmouth is enacting a one-year suspension of the testing requirement due to the pandemic.

Dartmouth will not require standardized test scores from students applying for undergraduate admission to the Class of 2025. Vice Provost for Enrollment Lee Coffin announced the decision today on his admissions blog, writing that Dartmouth is enacting a one-year suspension of the testing requirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Dartmouth College is now test-optional for the Class of 2025," writes Coffin, who is also dean of admissions and financial aid. "In normal circumstances, standardized testing offers useful statistical context for the holistic evaluation of a student's academic record as well as our essential assessment of preparation for the curriculum we offer. But this moment is not normal."

Dartmouth's decision comes as many of its peers are also waiving test reporting due to the pandemic. Today, the College Board, which administers SAT tests, called on its member institutions to "offer flexibility in admissions this year to reduce anxiety for students." Dartmouth is a member of the College Board.

Says Coffin, "It is a remarkable request that matches our remarkable moment."

The decision, he says, "is a clear response to an unprecedented moment that requires admissions officers to reimagine some of the elements we have historically required as we reassure anxious students about their upcoming applications. Worries about oversubscribed test sites, anxiety regarding limited registration access, and the incongruity of test prep during a quarantine can be set aside. At Dartmouth, we will welcome any testing element a student chooses to share—the SAT, the ACT, a subject test, an AP score—or none at all."

Scores or no scores, Dartmouth's "commitment to academic excellence and intellectual curiosity has not changed," says Coffin. Admissions officers will not make judgments about the presence or lack of test scores in a student's application, Coffin says.

In addition to not requiring test scores from applicants, Dartmouth will not report a testing profile for the Class of 2025 to the campus or to national media and will not share testing results—for those applicants who supply them—on the Dartmouth website.

"Testing is not universally available right now, and it is time to adjust our requirements, our priorities, and our focus. Other matters demand our collective energies," writes Coffin.

For the latest information on Dartmouth's response to the pandemic visit the COVID-19 website.