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Brandeis piloting a "test-flexible" policy for applicants this year

Posted by Your Town  July 24, 2013 04:51 PM

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Brandeis University has announced that it will allow applicants to submit academic portfolios or alternative test scores this year, in lieu of the traditional SAT or ACT requirement.

The school said in a statement that this “test-flexible” option is part of a two-year pilot program. Applicants for the fall 2014 semester may submit applications with a combination of advanced placement, SAT subject tests, or International Baccalaureate exams.

Instead of test scores, applicants can also send an academic portfolio, which will include one sample of analytical writing and an additional academic teacher evaluation, the statement said.

According to the statement, the applicants who chose the combination of subject tests will be required to submit scores in math or science, history, English, languages, arts, or social sciences, and one other test of the student’s choice.

Andrew Flagel, senior vice president for students and enrollment, said today in a phone interview that he expects the school will likely limit the number of test-flexible students it accepts to ten percent of the incoming class.

"This is a process that allows the students to portray themselves as accurately as possible," Flagel said.

A number of local colleges do not require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores, including Smith College, Clark University, Holy Cross, and Wheaton College.

After two years, Brandeis will review its test-flexible option, and the school will issue a formal proposal to the faculty senate on whether to continue the program.

"Brandeis is obviously one of the highest ranked schools in the nation to do this," Flagel said. "But I think more and more of our peers in the top tier will move in this direction."

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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