We believe this question obscures a dangerous premise. For many decades, the fact that “everyone” applying to Rochester could in theory take an ACT or SAT exam hid a deeper and important truth that some of our applicants can afford to take the test only one time, or see it for the first time in actual testing conditions, while some of our applicants have seen this kind of test many times, taken it multiple times, and can afford to spend many hours and funds preparing for it. That means the test conditions can’t be “fair.” Some of our applicants take the test untimed, based on a diagnosis of learning differences. While we value and honor those students having that opportunity, we expect that many other students whose learning differences have never been diagnosed take it as a timed test. That’s also not “fair.” Since the life circumstances prior to the test vary in uncountable ways, using the test results as a common yardstick, even in context, creates an illusion of fairness that causes more problems than it solves.
Meanwhile, students who prepare for the test and believe the results convey something helpful about their preparation for college can submit those results to Rochester, just as others might choose to submit an extra letter of recommendation, a longer list of activities, complete an interview with us, or submit a video or portfolio.
We look forward to a time when applicants won’t take any extra test for their Rochester application, since we don’t need them. In the real world for now, as students apply to Rochester along with many other places who do require specific tests, we will continue assigning value to that effort.