Here’s what UW-Madison’s ACT/SAT test-optional experiment shows

Test-optional admissions led to an increased volume in applications but didn’t lead to changes in applicant characteristics,

pandemic-induced policy allowing UW-Madison applicants to opt out of sending standardized test scores led to more applications but did not significantly diversify the applicant pool, according to preliminary research released last week.

The early findings, based on data from the first year the university’s test-optional policy was in place, offer few clues as to whether the University of Wisconsin System will permanently join the test-optional movement or revert back to its pre-pandemic policy of requiring exam scores from all applicants.

System and UW-Madison researchers plan to study three years of admissions data and release official findings on the System’s test-optional policy, along with potential recommendations about whether to continue it, in 2024.

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