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Caltech Announces Two-Year Moratorium on SAT and ACT Requirements

Published on Monday, June 8, 2020 | 6:48 am

Caltech has enacted a two-year moratorium on both the requirement and consideration of SAT and ACT test scores as part of the undergraduate admissions process. This change, made in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing impact on access to these exams for students across the country and globe, will be in effect for all first-year students applying to Caltech for Fall 2021 and Fall 2022.

Caltech’s undergraduate admissions process has traditionally required students to submit SAT or ACT test scores to be eligible for admission. The Institute had already announced the elimination of the SAT Subject Test requirement in January 2020.

“We are facing extraordinary times, and students’ pathways for college application preparation have been substantially disrupted,” says Jared Leadbetter, professor of environmental microbiology and chair of the freshman admissions committee. “The events of the spring have impacted all prospective applicants. This is the time to show them as much support and compassion as we possibly can for matters that are entirely out of their control.”

Caltech’s Undergraduate Admissions Office has updated its first-year admissions requirements to emphasize the increased attention that will be paid to curriculum and academic preparedness in lieu of test results. “Evaluations of applications during the two-year moratorium will continue to thoroughly examine academic preparedness from the secondary school level up through enrollment,” says Jarrid Whitney, assistant vice president for student affairs, enrollment and career services.

In addition to temporarily halting the SAT and ACT testing requirement, Caltech has also updated its testing requirements for international applicants. These students will now have the option to meet the English proficiency requirement through either the TOEFL or the Duolingo English Test. In addition, applicants will not be asked to pay for the submission of any exam results until they decide to matriculate at Caltech.

“Caltech is committed to access and equity,” says Nikki Chun, director of undergraduate admissions, “and we recognize our responsibility to amplify those values by ensuring that our programs are accessible to all qualified and interested applicants.”

For more information on undergraduate admissions at Caltech, including the Institute’s revised admissions requirements, visit

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