University makes SAT, ACT optional

Photo of campus
September 25, 2008

Inside the post-SAT admissions process

An article in “Inside Higher Education” looks at the practical effects of Wake Forest’s decision to no longer require the SAT for undergraduate admissions: “There’s more to dropping the SAT than just dropping the SAT. The university is revamping its admissions process generally, putting much more emphasis on personal interviews and adding staff for what will be a more intense review of candidates.” Read more »

September 24, 2008

Professor offers more data on SAT decision

Associate Professor of Sociology Joseph Soares, an expert on the role of the SAT in the college admissions process, offers a detailed look into the historical and more recent data on the validity of the SAT as a predictor of academic success in college. Read more »

September 21, 2008

College panel calls for less focus on SATs

A commission convened by some of the country’s most influential college admissions officials is recommending that colleges and universities move away from their reliance on SAT and ACT scores and shift toward admissions exams more closely tied to the high school curriculum and achievement, the New York Times reported. Read more »

Report of the Commission on the Use of Standardized Tests in Undergraduate Admission by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (PDF) »

September 2008

Blazing a trail

By becoming America’s first highly selective national university to make college entrance exam scores optional for admission, Wake Forest is betting on a high school track record over a one-time test outcome, banking on building a more balanced student body, and bucking a trend — again — for the sake of Pro Humanitate. Read more »

July 24, 2008

The Right Thing to Do

Director of Undergraduate Admissions Martha Blevins Allman (’82, MBA ’92) offers an inside look at the reasoning behind Wake Forest’s decision to make test scores optional. “After months of discussion and study and reflection we decided it was time to stand up on the side of fairness. We decided that it was time for Wake Forest to take yet another of its historical ‘bold moves.’ ” Read more »

July 24, 2008

SATs can’t test for mental toughness

Wake Forest joins other prestigious schools in discovering that overemphasis on the value of the SAT and the other standard bearer, ACT, has held back diversity on several levels, including economic and ethnic. From Scripps Howard News Service. Read more »

July 9, 2008

SAT decision ‘worthy goal’

An editorial in The New York Times commends Wake Forest for eliminating the SAT as a requirement for undergraduate admission. “By going test-optional, Wake Forest and Smith hope to broaden their applicant pools and increase access for groups that are underrepresented at selective schools. Those are worthy goals.” Read more »

June 29, 2008

Better measure than the SAT

In a column published in The Washington Post, President Nathan Hatch writes about Wake Forest’s decision to drop standardized test scores as an entrance requirement. Read more »

June 26, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions

In response to questions about Wake Forest’s new SAT policy, the following “Frequently Asked Questions” should help alumni, parents and prospective students understand the decision better. Read more »

June 25, 2008

In the News: Wake Forest and the SAT

Numerous newspapers and magazines around the country have reported on Wake Forest’s decision to no longer require the SAT or ACT for undergraduate admission since the new policy was announced in May. Read more »

May 27, 2008

University to make SAT, ACT optional

Wake Forest is making college entrance examinations, such as the SAT and ACT, optional for admission, becoming the first top 30 national university to adopt such a policy. A prospective student’s classroom performance, writing ability, extracurricular activities and evidence of character and talent will remain the most important criteria for admission. Full story »

Questions and answers on new admissions policy
Why was the decision made to no longer require the SAT or ACT? How will the admissions process change? What’s the research behind the decision? Answers to questions you may have about the new policy.

Professor: New policy a ‘bold step’
“Wake Forest has taken the bold step of becoming the first national university to select its students with criteria that move us beyond the pitfalls of standardized tests,” writes Wake Forest Associate Professor of Sociology Joseph Soares, who is also the author of The Power of Privilege: Yale and America’s Elite Colleges. “Wake Forest is committed to looking at the whole student, beyond test scores, and our new policy empowers us to do that.”

Provost’s letter to faculty and staff
“As we were considering (this policy), several points influenced us,” Provost Jill Tiefenthaler writes in a letter to faculty and staff. “Some have implications far beyond Wake Forest, and reach across all of higher education in the US. Others are specifically about who we are at Wake Forest.”

List of schools not requiring the SAT or ACT

For additional information about Undergraduate Admissions visit

Categories: Admissions, University Announcement