Dartmouth Brings Back SAT Requirement

Many schools scrapped the test during the pandemic.
HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE - FEBRUARY 8: The Dartmouth College logo is seen on the Dartmouth College campus on February 8, 2024 in Hanover, New Hampshire. A National Labor Relations Board regional official ruled on Monday that Dartmouth basketball players are employees of the school, clearing the way for an election that would create the first-ever labor union for NCAA athletes. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

At least one Ivy League school is bringing back its standardized testing admissions requirement after scrapping it temporarily.

Dartmouth College announced Monday that it is ending the pandemic era pause that allowed hopeful applicants to skip the dreaded SAT and ACT.

“Beginning with the Class of 2029, Dartmouth will once again require applicants from high schools within the United States to submit results of either the SAT or ACT, with no Dartmouth preference for either test,” the school said in a release published to the school’s website.

The selective New Hampshire school originally got rid of its standardized testing requirement back in June, 2020 while in-person testing was on hold during the pandemic.

“Nearly four years later, having studied the role of testing in our admissions process as well as its value as a predictor of student success at Dartmouth, we are removing the extended pause and reactivating the standardized testing requirement for undergraduate admission, effective with the Class of 2029,” Dartmouth said.

The school said it always meant the original “pragmatic pause” on standardized testing to be a “short-term practice.”

Dartmouth researchers recently conducted a study that showed standardized testing is an especially valuable tool for identifying high-achieving applicants from low-income backgrounds, the school added.

“Contrary to what some have perceived, standardized testing allows us to admit a broader and more diverse range of students,” the school said.


A string of elite institutions have moved away from standardized testing after the argument that such tests harm minority students picked up steam. Previously, a low SAT or ACT score meant automatic elimination at many top-tier schools.

Back in March, Columbia University became the first Ivy League school to permanently nix its standardized test requirement.

Harvard University and Princeton University also indefinitely suspended their standardized test admission requirements during the pandemic, and neither has brought back the requirement.

In 2020, the entire 10-school University of California system voted to permanently get rid of standardized tests. The move came after a lawsuit from students claiming the tests are racist and biased against disabled students.

New York University, Cornell College, George Washington University, and University of Chicago have also joined the ranks of those that allow students to skip the tests.

The move away from standardized testing also came as the Supreme Court was preparing to rule against affirmative action.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled against Harvard and the University of North Carolina’s affirmative action policies in a decision that had a profound effect on the admissions processes at universities across the country.

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