Brandeis University recently announced plans to pilot a “test-flexible” admissions policy for students applying for fall 2014 undergraduate admissions.
Following similar policies in use by NYU, Bryn Mawr and Colby, Brandeis will give applicants the option of submitting a combination of advanced placement (AP), SAT Subject Tests, or International Baccalaureate exams or submitting an enhanced academic portfolio.
“Brandeis’ admissions team takes an individualized, holistic view when evaluating applicants for admission. Our experience shows that the rigor of a student’s program and overall academic performance are the best indicators of a student’s ability to take on challenges and excel academically,” said Andrew Flagel, senior vice president for students and enrollment.
Applicants choosing the combination of Subject Tests will be asked to submit scores in science or math English, history, languages, arts or social sciences and one test of the student’s choice from a discipline other than that of the first two chosen.
Alternatively, applicants may choose an academic portfolio option that includes one sample of analytical writing and an additional academic teacher evaluation.
As an ongoing part of the pilot program, Brandeis will collect standardized test scores from students choosing the test-flexible option (after they enroll) to support a study of student outcomes relative to those going the standardized test route.
After two years, the policy and its results will be reviewed and a decision to maintain, expand, narrow or discontinue the program will be considered by the Brandeis Faculty Senate.
“With competition for admission to Brandeis at an all-time high, we must do all we can to be sure we are admitting the most qualified possible class,” added Flagel. “I am confident that this new model will continue our tradition of admitting academically gifted and motivated students with a passion for changing the world."