MIT suspends SAT/ACT requirement for 2021–22 admissions cycle

MIT will be suspending its SAT/ACT requirement for the 2021–22 undergraduate admissions cycle, Dean of Admissions Stu Schmill ’86 wrote in a April 6 blog post on the MIT admissions website. 

Schmill wrote the requirement has been suspended because “many students were not able to take the SAT or ACT safely” in the past year due to the ongoing pandemic.

First-year applicants applying in fall of 2021 and transfer applicants applying in either fall of 2021 or spring of 2022 will not be required to submit their scores for either test. 

However, students who have already taken the tests or who can “find a forthcoming opportunity” to take them safely are “encouraged to submit with their scores,” because they help the admissions office to “more accurately evaluate” applicants’ preparedness for MIT, Schmill wrote.

Schmill added that students who have yet to take the SAT/ACT and who are unable to find an opportunity to take them safely are “discouraged” from taking the tests to “protect their personal health.” 

The admissions office “will not make any negative presumptions” on applicants’ preparation due to the absence of the test scores and will instead make its decision by assessing other academic aspects, such as grades, coursework, and other exams.

MIT’s SAT/ACT requirement was previously suspended due to the pandemic for the 2020–21 admissions cycle. Schmill wrote that the decision to suspend the requirement again drew from the admission office’s experience with the 2020–21 cycle, “when most of our applicants submitted” scores, “but a large number did not.” Of those students who did not submit scores, MIT admitted “some” applicants who “unquestionably demonstrated their academic excellence” despite not taking the tests.

MIT suspended its SAT subject test requirement permanently beginning with the 2020–21 admissions cycle. The SAT subject tests were later discontinued by the College Board in January 2021.

Like MIT, the Ivy League universities, Stanford, and Caltech have announced that they will not be requiring SAT/ACT scores for both the 2020–21 and 2021–22 admissions cycles.