Caltech Drops SAT, ACT Admissions Requirements Through 2025

The private science- and engineering-focused university hasn’t used test scores in its undergraduate admissions process since June 2020.
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Published on August 8, 2022
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  • California Institute of Technology won’t consider applicants’ test scores even if they are submitted.
  • An internal analysis found that standardized test scores had little to no power in predicting student performance in certain first-year classes.
  • An increasing number of institutions are moving to eliminate standardized test scores from their admissions process.

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) wants another two years to assess the value of the SAT and ACT in the admissions process.

The university announced late last month that it would extend its moratorium on requiring SAT and ACT test scores until 2025. It likewise said it won’t consider an applicant’s test scores, even if they are submitted.

Caltech first waived the testing requirement in June 2020 amid the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An internal analysis by Caltech faculty found that standardized test scores had little to no power in predicting student performance in certain first-year classes. The extension of the moratorium will “facilitate a more extensive examination of academic performance and its relationship to standardized test scores,” according to a statement from the school.

Jarrid Whitney, Caltech's assistant vice president for student affairs, enrollment, and career services, said that Caltech will lean into its well-established “holistic” admissions process to gauge the preparedness of potential students.

“While standardized testing has been an element of the evaluation of applicants, it was never the sole metric or distinguishing factor for admissions," he said. "Additionally, both the original and current moratorium removed standardized testing as a financial and logistical barrier to applying to Caltech."

During the pandemic, many colleges and universities elected not to include standardized test scores in their admissions process.

In 2020, the University of California system voted to eliminate SAT and ACT test score requirements by 2025.

Harvard announced last year that standardized testing requirements would be waived for undergraduates through the class of 2030.

Colorado and Iowa also recently removed the standardized test requirement at their public institutions.

According to the College Board, 700,000 fewer students took the SAT in 2021 than in 2020. Last January, the organization announced that the SAT will be going digital by 2024.