Swarthmore College is suspending the SAT/ACT testing requirement for first-year applicants for fall 2023, fall 2024, and fall 2025 and extending our initial two year pilot, affecting current high school juniors, sophomores, and freshmen. While we will accept and review examination results if submitted to us, it will not be a requirement for the next three years.
When we first announced our test-optional policy, we said we would re-evaluate this policy for fall 2023 first-year applicants. While our first class to be admitted under a test-optional policy is now on campus, we cannot make a data-informed decision on the future of standardized testing at Swarthmore without conducting a longitudinal study. Our pass/fail first semester system means that we need more time to study the relationship at Swarthmore between standardized testing and long-term student success.
Our collective concern during this public health crisis is that students remain safe. We are also considering the future of testing administrations, in the United States and around the world. Depending on where one lives, some students already have limited options to take the SAT and ACT, and the worldwide pandemic may exacerbate these issues. We hope that our test-optional policy can also reduce anxiety associated with the college admissions process.
Students will be able to report previous testing as part of their application process, if they wish. Sharing exam results will be completely optional, and students who either did not take a test or choose not to share results with us will not be penalized in the admissions process.
We would also like to note that this policy is in place for all applicants, including U.S. citizens and international students, first-year applicants and transfers, and students attending public and private schools and homeschooled applicants.