Stanford reinstates standardized testing requirements

Stanford will resume requiring standardized testing — either the SAT or ACT — for undergraduate admission, starting with students who apply in fall 2025 for admission to the Class of 2030, the University announced in the Stanford Report Friday morning. 

The University will remain test-optional students applying in fall 2024 for admission to the Class of 2029 to provide “all students enough lead time to plan and prepare for testing.”

According to findings from a review by the faculty Committee on Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid, “performance on standardized tests is an important predictor of academic performance at Stanford.”

The University paused its testing requirement in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic because of limited access to testing, beginning with students applying to the Class of 2025. Since the decision, undergraduate applicants have been allowed to submit test scores but are not required to do so.  

A number of colleges and universities have elected to bring back required standardized testing requirements, including Harvard, Yale and the public university system in Florida. The University of California system, however, permanently eliminated standardized test requirements.

Stanford practices holistic admission in which all parts of an applicant’s application are considered, not only test scores or grades. In the process, “academic potential is the primary criterion for admission.”

Students previously expressed support for optional standardized testing. “I feel like personality, your intersectionality and identity is so much more important than just a test score,” Leonardo Daniels ’25 told The Daily in 2021.

The University referred to the Stanford Report announcement upon request for comment.