AMHERST (CBS) — UMass Amherst is joining the growing number of colleges making standardized testing optional – at least temporarily. Beginning with the spring 2021 term, the SAT and ACT will be optional for first-year students. The change will last through the fall term of 2023.

UMass officials say it’s become increasingly difficult to administer these tests in a safe and secure way during the coronavirus pandemic, especially for low-income and minority students.

“UMass Amherst has committed to being test-optional for the next three years,” vice provost for enrollment management James Roche said in a statement. “As one of the country’s top-25 public research universities, we look forward to using the test-optional approach during this period to learn more about the relationship between high school grades and standardized test scores, and to develop even better models for predicting student success in college.”

The school has developed a new formula that will use high school GPA as the base for evaluating applicants. Read more about the new policy here.

Harvard University is among the schools that have already dropped standardized test score requirements for future students.

  1. fairtestbob says:

    A comprehensive list of more than 1,350 colleges and universities that will not require ACT/SAT scores for Fall 2021 is available free online at

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