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Board of Higher Education makes 'test optional' policy permanent

Board of Higher Education retreat at BSC
Dave Thompson
Board of Higher Education retreat at BSC

The state Board of Higher Education has voted to permanently go “test optional” for admission.

That means a student will not have to take the ACT or SAT test to be admitted to college.

The board previously adopted a temporary waiver of requiring standardized test scores for admission.

The formal policy takes effect for the fall semester of 2023.

"Our recruitment and admissions staff are working with high school juniors, helping them in their preparations," said North Dakota University System Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Lisa Johnson. "Knowing that we can solidify this as a policy aids them in their work, in recruiting and retaining students in North Dakota."

Johnson said a number of states and individual colleges have also gone test-optional.

"It's important that we remain competitive," Johnson said.

Johnson said the University System is not anti-test. And she said there are places where standardized test scores will still be used.

"We use standardized test scores for placement into college-level courses in mathematics and English," Johnson said.

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