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MIT Reinstating SAT/ACT Requirement for Future Admissions

MIT Reinstating SAT/ACT Requirement for Future Admissions

“Our research shows standardized tests help us better assess the academic preparedness of all applicants”

MIT is the type of school you kind of expect to have test requirements, isn’t it?

From MIT Admissions:

We are reinstating our SAT/ACT requirement for future admissions cycles

At MIT Admissions, our mission is to recruit, select, and enroll a diverse and talented group of students who are a good match for MIT’s unique education and culture. Everything we do in our process is grounded by our goal to find and admit students who will succeed at MIT and serve the world afterward.

After careful consideration, we have decided to reinstate our SAT/ACT requirement for future admissions cycles. Our research shows standardized tests help us better assess the academic preparedness of all applicants, and also help us identify socioeconomically disadvantaged students who lack access to advanced coursework or other enrichment opportunities that would otherwise demonstrate their readiness for MIT. We believe a requirement is more equitable and transparent than a test-optional policy. In the post below — and in a separate conversation with MIT News today — I explain more⁠01 about how we think this decision helps us advance our mission.

When we initially suspended our testing requirement due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I wrote:

This was not a decision we made lightly. Our reliance on these tests is outcome-driven and applicant-oriented: we don’t value scores for their own sake, but only to the extent that they help us make better decisions for our students, which they do. We regularly research the outcomes of MIT students and our own admissions criteria to ensure we make good decisions for the right reasons, and we consistently find that considering performance on the SAT/ACT, particularly the math section, substantially improves the predictive validity of our decisions with respect to subsequent student success at the Institute.

Within our office, we have a dedicated research and analysis team that continuously studies our processes, outcomes, and criteria to make sure we remain mission-driven and student-centered. During the pandemic, we redoubled our efforts to understand how we can best evaluate academic readiness for all students, particularly those most impacted by its attendant disruptions.


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Anonymous Bosh | March 29, 2022 at 10:00 am

“Our research shows standardized tests help us better assess the academic preparedness of all applicants.”

Ya think?

    healthguyfsu in reply to Anonymous Bosh. | March 30, 2022 at 12:00 am

    Amazing that research was needed to know this.

    It obviously wasn’t…MITers are very astute, but they caved to woke as others have done and this is their walk back to reality with a “soft exit” explanation.

      At least they are smart enough to reverse this disastrous policy. Everything they said (that wasn’t couched in woke-speak) was 100% correct, and if MIT wants to maintain its reputation, it has to reject the woke crazy that says all top-tier univs, including MIT, must admit students who couldn’t get into Joe’s College and Bait Shop (and then lower standards until Dumb Bubba can get his MIT degree . . . that’s now not worth the paper it’s printed on).

      This is self-preservation by MIT, but I don’t expect to see it at any other top schools until it’s too late for them to salvage their reputation. But at least going forward, we’ll know that an MIT degree actually means something.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Anonymous Bosh. | March 30, 2022 at 8:48 am

    They learned the hard way that admitting Affirmative duds, as opposed to basing admissions on merit and without consideration of race, was going to destroy their brand.

This is the first I’ve heard that they suspended those tests at all… maybe I missed their announcement for the “community.”

I suspect some of this is tied in with the recently-announced “retirement” of President Reif, a course correction long overdue. The man has a strong of both woke (wimping out to the disinvitation of Dorian Abbott) and unwoke (accepting Epstein funds despite his own ban list) offenses that should have vaporized him long before now.

Damn it! I knew I should have applied last year.

The Institute twists like a pretzel to justify an operationally non-woke action using woke-speak.

When I was at Harvard, several of my friends were at MIT. Harvard has many courses and concentrations that allow an affirmative-action admit to avoid difficult courses, and graduate on-time. As long as they avoided STEM and pre-med courses, they would generally be OK.

Not so much at MIT, at least back in the 1970’s. It seemed almost impossible for someone who wasn’t good at math and science to fake his/her way through MIT to get a degree.

High-school grades are now so inflated that they don’t show which students are likely to succeed in math and science. The best assessment tool is a standardized exam like the SAT or ACT, and especially the individual advanced exams in math and science.

Students who do badly on the SAT or ACT are not going to do well on the exams at MIT, and they are likely to flunk out. That looks bad for MIT, especially since it will be the affirmative-action minority admits who are most likely to flunk out. It’s better to look for potential minority admits who do well on the standardized exams, and are more likely to survive in the challenging environment at MIT.

SAT/ACT tests … either have it or not!