'U' to modify fall application requirements and test score updates

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 - 7:17pm

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The University of Michigan has updated its requirements to the application process for incoming applicants in the upcoming academic year, including test score, transcript and recommendation letter modifications. Further updates will be announced on Aug. 1, according to the admissions website. 

Like in previous years, SAT or ACT test scores are required. Students who are unable to sit and submit a test by the deadline, however, can apply under a “test flexible” option and are encouraged to submit any other standardized test, such as PSAT, PLAN, Pre-ACT or AP scores. 

“The cancellation of spring and summer exams have been disruptive to students' academic planning,” the website reads. “We are closely monitoring the availability of testing from the College Board (SAT) and ACT and are aware that they are adding testing dates to provide opportunities for those that need their ‘first’ score and for those who wish to retest.”

International students who have more difficulty in accessing SAT or ACT testing are encouraged to submit predictive and/or national examination results. Additionally, the University will accept self-reported scores, as long as official scores are submitted by the end of the enrollment process for verification.  

The University’s testing procedures contrast with more than 300 other colleges — including the University of California system — in becoming “test-optional” in response to canceled or postponed standardized testing.

The last major change to the University’s standardized testing requirements came in 2018 when the writing component of the ACT and SAT was no longer required for admission.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which prompted the University to move to remote learning and encourage all students who are able to leave campus, SAT and ACT testing dates have been canceled. This has caused anxiety among high school juniors, who were looking to those days as opportunities to increase their scores, especially for students who are hoping to apply to schools by their early application deadlines, which is now Nov. 15 at the University, in comparison to the previous date of Nov. 1. 

The College Board canceled the SAT, PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9 exams originally scheduled for May 2 and June 6 and is committed to being flexible with opportunities in the future in light of this cancelation.

Similarly, the ACT testing date scheduled for April 4 was postponed to June 13. While not all test centers were open, those that underwent testing incorporated precautionary measures to social distance and minimize COVID-19 spread. The ACT is currently committed to administering the July 18 test date. 

The University also acknowledged that transcripts will be viewed under different circumstances than before to accommodate those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Students will not be disadvantaged if they received pass/fail or credit/no credit or other COVID-related grades during these terms,” the website reads. “Each academic record will be reviewed for curriculum selected, academic rigor, and academic performance within the context of all courses where grades are available and coursework pursued.”

Summer News Editor Kristina Zheng can be reached at krizheng@umich.edu.