On November 29, 2022, Purdue University announced that they will no longer be “test flexible” and will instead require ACT or SAT test scores from their applicants beginning with the Class of 2024. As of this writing, the list of colleges that require test scores is small but include a few popular schools like MIT, Georgetown, and University of Tennessee Knoxville.
We were surprised and yet not surprised by this decision. Purdue has been clear in these past few years that they prefer applicants submit a test score. The school’s top three majors – engineering, computer science, and nursing – make up over 50% of their undergrad population. These three majors are highly selective for admission. Even after announcing a “test flexible” policy a few years back, admissions counselors would clearly state the preference for students to submit a score if you were applying to one of these majors, and 82% of applicants did provide a score.
Although they didn’t share data backing up their decision in their announcement, they did say, “The evidence is clear that test scores provide essential information in a comprehensive admissions evaluation that enables us to ensure the optimal chance of success for each admitted student.”
Colleges that choose to require test scores (like MIT) use their data regarding whether or not a ACT or SAT test score is an important indicator of future success of that applicant as a basis for their decision. We can’t know for sure, but it is possible Purdue was seeing a trend with students who did not submit a score.
What should you do now?
If you don’t have a test score, make a solid plan to get one. For current juniors, your window to get this done is shorter. Visit our ACT/SAT page for testing dates, deadlines, and links.
If you aren’t sure how to navigate the testing process, be sure to catch our ACT/SAT testing webinar.
If you prefer personalized help, consider a Private Consultation. Our expert facilitator can help your family create a custom plan.
Like everyone else, no one knows all the factors that drive these kinds of decisions within university A or B or C. And of course, we cannot predict what the next announcements will be and when they will come.
ACT/SAT test policies for admissions are a moving target. It’s always going to benefit your student to try to test normally and achieve their best score possible, knowing that they can access test optional policies at many schools if the test scores they earn don’t warrant submitting them.
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