I worked at the University of Chicago admission office back in the dark ages, around the turn of the century, when we still read our applications on paper. Around the time you, if you’re a senior in high school, were born. Back then, under a previous Dean of Admission, we were already careful not to weigh test scores too heavily. Sure, they mattered, but the student with the perfect 1600 whose activities were middling and essays were uninteresting did not have an advantage over the student with the 1450 who wrote an excellent essay and whose love of learning and intellectual spirit shined through the app. So while UChicago has momentarily rocked the admission world by being the first major research university in the top tier of selectivity to go test optional, in some ways I expect that the admission process will not change too much. The importance of a student’s love of learning and their intellectual spirit will continue to be a priority in the application over their test scores.
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