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I get questions all the time. Here’s a popular one I receive from an applicant…

Q: Why did MIT bring back the standardized test requirement?

A: The short answer, while imperfect and arguably biased, it works. The last two years saw lots of changes in college admissions. COVID, test being cancelled, and a rush towards diversity on campus pushed the schools to admit a new group of kids. This meant that a kid with a slightly lower GPA, but with interesting extra curriculars and from a high school the college didn’t know well, gave those kids a good shot at a school they otherwise might not have had a chance with. I told parents I worked with two years ago that the colleges would be keeping a close eye on those “test optional” students and if they didn’t do well, or dropped out, or just struggled in class, the test would come roaring back. And at MIT, it did. I suspect that other schools like MIT (Caltech for one) will bring the SAT/ACT back soon. It just made sense for them to do it now. I encourage every applicant I worked with to take the test and get a good score. And if they do, then test optional kids with perhaps a more interesting profile will NOT be their competition.

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