UW News

June 11, 2020

UW removes standardized testing requirement for incoming students beyond fall 2021

UW News

The University of Washington has removed the requirement of standardized test scores, such as the SAT and ACT, for incoming undergraduate students beyond the fall of 2021.

The requirement had already been temporarily removed for the fall 2021 incoming class due to the lack of available testing sites in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

UW admissions officers have studied results and outcomes for several years and found standardized test scores have little correlation with success at the UW, particularly for Washington residents. The change will allow applicants to focus instead on taking a rigorous, college-preparatory high school curriculum, which more directly correlates with success at the UW.

“The UW is dedicated to creating opportunities for the most promising students to learn and discover how they can make an impact,” UW President Ana Mari Cauce said. “Careful analysis and research showed that standardized testing did not add meaningfully to the prediction of student success that our holistic admission process already provides.”

Research also indicates that requiring test scores for admission can create barriers, both real and perceived, for students from low-income backgrounds, students of color and women at a time when it is critical that we expand access to higher education to all.

“Ultimately, this decision is about access and student success,” said Joseph Janes, chair of the Faculty Senate and a professor in the Information School. “The faculty, after careful and thoughtful consideration in partnership with our administration, have recognized that students’ potential achievement over four years or more of their university education can’t be measured by the result of one test on one day. And we are hopeful that this move will open doors to our university through which will come generations of magnificent students.”

The change takes effect immediately for the Seattle campus. UW Bothell and UW Tacoma will be reviewing their standardized test score policies.


For more information, contact Victor Balta at balta@uw.edu.

(Note: This post has been updated to specify this change applies to incoming undergraduate applicants)