SAT/ACT requirement suspended for 2020–2021 admissions cycle

Applicants in the 2020–2021 undergraduate admissions cycle will not be required to submit SAT or ACT scores, Dean of Admissions Stu Schmill ’86 wrote on the MIT Admissions Blogs July 13.

Schmill wrote that the decision to waive the testing requirements came after the College Board and ACT announced disruptions to their testing. Additionally, the admissions office considered the potential health consequences of taking the exams during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students who have already taken the tests are “encouraged to send their scores,” and students who have not already taken them “are discouraged from doing so if they cannot do so safely” or are “under such strain” that they cannot perform at their level of preparation.

Students “will not have any negative inferences drawn” from not submitting scores, Schmill added.

The decision was not “made lightly,” Schmill wrote. The admissions office has found that “performance on the SAT/ACT, particularly the math section,” helps to predict “subsequent student success” at MIT. 

Schmill also announced two permanent changes to the admissions process, beginning with the 2020–2021 cycle.

Schmill wrote that MIT will accept a greater number of English proficiency tests to “expand access” for international students. These tests include the TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge English Qualifications, Pearson Test of English, and Duolingo English Test.

Additionally, applicants are no longer required to officially send their SAT/ACT or English proficiency scores during the application process, Schmill wrote. Instead, students can self-report their scores, which will be verified upon enrollment, to “help reduce costs and processing delays” for applicants.

The Ivy League universities, Stanford, and Caltech have also announced that the SAT/ACT tests will be optional this admissions cycle. The University of California college system voted in May to permanently eliminate the SAT/ACT requirement.

MIT previously announced that it will no longer consider SAT subject tests in the admissions process, starting with the 2020–2021 admissions cycle.