Bryn Mawr adopts new testing policy promoting greater flexibility and emphasis on subject mastery

Posted June 3rd, 2009 at 3:11 pm.

Updated Testing Policy

Students wishing to enroll at Bryn Mawr for the fall 2010 semester will now be able to submit results from

  • The SAT Reasoning Test and a combination of two SAT Subject Tests or AP tests in two different disciplines, or
  • The ACT or
  • A combination of three SAT Subject Tests and/or AP tests in the following categories:
    • Science or Math and
    • English, History, Languages, Arts or Social Sciences and
    • Student’s Choice: one test of the student’s choice but in a discipline different from the other two

Only one non-English language test result may be submitted.

If your first language is not English you may submit the results of one test in your first language, but only as your “student’s choice. ” One of your remaining test results must be from category 1 and the other must be from category 2, as listed above.
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Bryn Mawr College, hard on the heels of an admissions year bringing a record number of applications, has completed a review of what enables success in its highly selective undergraduate college. Finding that subject-oriented tests are often more informative than other standardized tests at Bryn Mawr, it has opened more options for tests submitted with applications.

“Our new ‘test flexible’ policy will allow Bryn Mawr applicants to select the standardized tests that they believe best represent their academic potential,” stated Jenny Rickard, Bryn Mawr dean of admissions and financial aid. “Let me emphasize, these tests are just one of the many factors we look at as part of our holistic evaluation process and that’s not going to change. A student’s course selection and performance in high school will continue to be the most important academic information in an application.”

The policy sets a new precedent for the use of Advanced Placement (AP) tests in the admissions process at Bryn Mawr and allows for an option that focuses exclusively on subject mastery.

Under the previous policy students were required to take either the SAT Reasoning Test and two Subject Tests or the ACT. Those choices still remain, but with the new “test flexible” policy, applicants now have a third option to submit a combination of three SAT Subject and/or AP tests in the following areas:

  • English, history or languages and
  • Math or science and
  • One subject of the student’s choice but in a subject different from the other two (only one non-English language may be submitted)

“Succeeding at an academically rigorous institution like Bryn Mawr is not just about getting the answer ‘right.’ It is about delving deeper into the subject matter. The student who has engaged with a subject and has mastered the material shows the skills and dedication that are essential to good scholarship. Our new ‘test flexible’ policy recognizes that reality,” said Rickard.

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