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While many colleges are ending requirements that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is restoring such a requirement, abandoned during the pandemic.

Stu Schmill, dean of admissions and student financial services, wrote, “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.”

Schmill added, “Our ability to accurately predict student academic success at MIT⁠ is significantly improved by considering standardized testing—especially in mathematics—alongside other factors.”

The MIT curriculum demands that students do well in math, he said. “All MIT students, regardless of intended major, must pass two semesters of calculus, plus two semesters of calculus-based physics, as part of our General Institute Requirements.⁠ The substance and pace of these courses are both very demanding, and they culminate in long, challenging final exams that students must pass⁠ to proceed with their education.⁠ In other words, there is no path through MIT that does not rest on a rigorous foundation in mathematics, and we need to be sure our students are ready for that as soon as they arrive.⁠”

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