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Stanford extends test-optional policy for Class of 2027 and transfer applicants

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Stanford announced on Wednesday that it will not require first-year and transfer applicants to submit standardized test scores during the 2022-23 admissions season. 

This marks the third year in a row that the University has waived its testing requirement. Stanford first made standardized testing optional for applicants to the Class of 2025 after the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the spring of 2020.

“We recognize the ongoing challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, including limited access to admission testing worldwide, and as a result, we are extending this year’s test optional policy,” the Office of Undergraduate Admission said in an announcement.

Stanford’s decision to continue the test-optional policy comes after the University reported a record-low acceptance rate of 3.95% for the Class of 2025, nearly 25% lower than last year’s 5.19% for the Class of 2024. The University also received a record-breaking 55,471 applications to the Class of 2025.

Stanford spokesperson Dee Mostofi wrote in a statement to The Daily that as part of Stanford’s commitment to a “holistic review” of admissions candidates, applicants can continue to self-report standardized test scores, though those who do not “will not be at a disadvantage.”

The University said that it urges “students not to jeopardize their health or well-being to take future sittings of non-required tests.”

While it is unclear whether the University will continue waiving standardized testing requirements in future application cycles, it appears that the policy is still up for debate. 

“We will continue to study the impact of the test optional policy to ensure a fair and equitable admission process for applicants,” Mostofi wrote.

In the past, the student body response to Stanford’s test-optional policy has been mostly positive, with some saying that the move relieves applicants of the financial burden of standardized test preparation.

Others have said they feel the test-optional policy deemphasizes test scores, allowing admissions officers to focus on “more important” parts of an application. 

“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 July.

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Vardhan Agrawal '25 is a writer for the Academics desk. Contact the News section at news 'at' stanforddaily.com.