Wake Forest Makes Test Scores Optional for Applicants

It's joining other colleges (like Smith in Massachusetts) in putting less emphasis on the indicator.

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Wake Forest University announced today that it will make standardized tests optional for applicants of its 2009 class—making it one of the most selective schools (30th in U.S. News's ranking of national universities) to reject the prominence of test scores in admissions.

The move comes at a time when more institutions nationwide are becoming concerned about the legitimacy of using test performance as an indicator of potential student success. A number of schools have already dropped the test-score requirement, but most of those institutions are small liberal arts colleges, like Smith College, which announced its new admissions policy two weeks ago.

Wake Forest's policy change was prompted by the school's initiative to diversify its student population, and admissions officials say they will now place more emphasis on personal interviews, academics, and extracurricular activities.