UT Austin Reinstates Standardized Test Score Requirement for Undergraduate Admissions

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Courtesy Photo: UT Austin

UT Austin announced today that — starting with the fall 2025 semester — the university will return to requiring standardized test scores as an undergraduate student admission requirement.

The university suspended the standardized score requirement in spring 2020 due to limited testing availability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UT Austin President Jay Hartzell said that standardized scores — combined with high school grade point averages (GPA) — support the university’s goal of attracting the best and brightest students and to make sure every student is successful once they are here.

“A Valuable Tool”
“Our experience during the test-optional period reinforced that standardized testing is a valuable tool for deciding who is admitted and making sure those students are placed in majors that are the best fit,” Hartzell said, adding:

“Also, with an abundance of high school GPAs surrounding 4.0, especially among our auto-admits, an SAT or ACT score is a proven differentiator that is in each student’s and the university’s best interest.”

Other Changes
UT Austin also announced these other modifications to the admissions application process:

  • Introduction of a new Early Action program. This optional deadline will require application submission by Oct. 15, with a guaranteed decision communicated to applicants by Jan. 15. The regular deadline for applications will remain Dec. 1, with a guaranteed decision communicated by Feb. 15.
  • Modification of the required essay. This will provide greater flexibility in topic choice and enable students to leverage responses used on other applications, while expanding the opportunity for a more personalized response.
  • Reduction in the number of short answer responses. This reduction from three responses to two will maintain the currently used major-related question, while creating a new prompt that allows students to highlight a specific activity of their choice.
  • Introduction of a waitlist. Applies to students who are not automatically admitted. Most students will be notified as early as March 1 if they are admitted from the waitlist.
  • Narrowed scope for letters of recommendation. Applicants submitting letters of recommendation will be strongly encouraged to provide those letters from sources outside of their high school. This reduces the burden of this work on high school teachers and counselors and allows university staff to better leverage other materials.

The university will begin requiring standardized test scores and implement other related changes during the Aug. 1–Dec. 1, 2024, application period.

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