University of Pennsylvania: Test-Optional for 2020-2021

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University of Pennsylvania: Test-Optional for 2020-2021

The University of Pennsylvania frequently examines the role of standardized testing in college admissions, including the SAT and ACT. We see these tests as one piece of a more comprehensive evaluation process that considers individual students in the context of their academic and personal experiences.

The College Board recently announced that an at-home version of the SAT will not be offered as planned. Meanwhile, the capacity for in-person examinations has been severely limited due to COVID-19 considerations. These combined factors will prevent thousands of students from taking the SAT exam. The scale of these challenges is unprecedented. With this in mind, Penn Admissions will not require the SAT or ACT for the 2020-21 first-year and transfer admissions cycles. Applicants who do not submit SAT or ACT scores will not be at a disadvantage in the admissions process. For international students attending schools where English is not the language of instruction, we continue to require either the TOEFL or IELTS exam. Students who are able to take the SAT or ACT and wish to report them may continue with that plan.

Penn Admissions acknowledges the benefits and limitations built into standardized tests. Beyond the admissions process, test results help institutions guide and support enrolling students. We also know that a single examination does not capture the ability, preparation, and potential of all students in an equal way. For this reason, standardized testing has always been only one part of a larger review process that considers many factors, including the rigor of coursework and performance in these courses.  Penn Admissions will continue to review students, on an individual basis, consistent with our belief in a comprehensive whole-person review process.

The University of Pennsylvania will follow the rules and regulations of the Ivy League in the recruitment of student-athletes to the institution.


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