Thousands of schools across the country have moved to test-optional admissions for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle, given the struggle students have had registering and actually sitting — safely — for exams. A few schools have gone a step further and have moved to test-blind admissions.
Test-blind means that scores will not be reviewed for any candidate for admission, even if you submit them. So even if you have 36 on the ACT or a 1600 on the SAT, test-blind schools will not consider scores as a part of your file in their decision-making process. One goal of test-blind admissions is to remove pressure that students might feel to submit a score, even though they’re technically optional. And some, like Hampshire College, feel that scores don’t quite capture the information they’re looking for. Hampshire tells students that “qualities such as leadership, community engagement, creativity, discipline, passion, and dedication to learning cannot be discerned from a single test score.”
There are very few schools that currently have test-blind policies. Included in this small group are Dickinson College, Northern Illinois University, and Hampshire College. And just recently, a California judge ruled that the UC system cannot use SAT or ACT scores in admissions this cycle because they would disadvantage low-income students and students with disabilities.
It’s important to note that schools that utilize a test-blind policy will place an even greater emphasis on a student’s academic record from high school.
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|California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
|* Test-blind permanently for Subject Tests