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Test-Flexible Announcement

The world is facing great difficulty and uncertainty amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We understand that high school juniors are feeling added stress around the college admission process, particularly as it pertains to cancellations of ACT and SAT test schedules. Therefore, The University of Memphis will use a test-flexible freshman application review for the 2020-2021 (entering class of Fall 2021) admission cycle. This is a one-year policy to provide an equitable and reassuring response to the needs of our future Tigers.

The University of Memphis has used a holistic application review process for several years, and we are confident in our ability to identify and evaluate student potential. Moreover, we believe the rigor of a student's high school curriculum and academic performance, extracurricular activities, leadership, and other factors contribute to a student's success potential.

For more addition details related to our temporary test-flexible policy, please read our frequently asked questions below.


FAQ about Test-Flexible

Freshmen applicants applying with an official GPA and no ACT or SAT test score will be reviewed holistically. As part of the holistic review process the UofM Admissions & Orientation staff will utilize a test-flexible evaluation process which considers alternative tests for application review. Such tests include, but are not limited to: Pre-ACT, PSAT, Dual Enrollment grades, AP/IB Scores, etc. Applicants will not be asked to submit these test scores, the UofM Admissions & Orientation staff will use any score already in the applicant’s file. In the rare cases when we do not have enough information to decision a file, then the applicant may be asked to provide supplemental information via an electronic questionnaire provided by the UofM Admissions & Orientation staff.

Regardless of the review method used, we will under no circumstances admit a student who we do not think can be successful at the UofM. Test-flexible does not mean we disregard standardized test scores, as we acknowledge the value added by them. It only means that we recognize there are other factors that contribute to the prediction of college success.

The University of Memphis recognizes there are multiple factors, both academic and non-academic, that contribute to college student success. Thus, even before the pandemic we have considered institutional research data to guide our admissions criteria, knowing standardized tests are one variable in our holistic review process.

In response to the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), The University of Memphis is prepared to implement an application review strategy that expands the variables we consider. On April 29, 2020 the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) urged institutions to reassess their standardized testing policies, especially in light of the effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on testing schedules. The University of Memphis will join the more than 1,000 colleges and universities that have already transitioned to test-optional and/or test-flexible admissions policies. This policy change was proposed by the Office of Admissions & Orientation, supported by our academic Deans, and approved by the Provost.

No, this policy will only be in effect for first-time freshmen applying for the fall of 2021. We will assess the status of this policy and determine strategy for future enrollees later this cycle.

The test-flexible review process only applies to admissions evaluation. All applicants who wish to be considered for merit-based scholarships, will still be required to submit an official ACT or SAT score. Combined, ACT and The College Board have more than six scheduled test options this fall. To accommodate possible space and location challenges, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will extend the scholarship deadline.

The test-flexible review process only applies to admissions evaluation. All applicants who wish to be considered for the Honors Program, will still be required to submit an official ACT or SAT score. Combined, ACT and The College Board have more than six scheduled test options this fall. To accommodate possible space and location challenges, the Honors Program will extend their deadline.

The Office of Admission and Orientation takes a holistic approach to reviewing applications, meaning several components of an application are evaluated to determine potential for success at the UofM. Any standardize score, past or present, received for an applicant will be a component of the holistic review process.

Yes, English language proficiency is required for admission to the UofM. We have expanded the assessments we consider for English proficiency evaluation, as these include: TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and temporarily the Duolingo English Test.

Yes. While the UofM reviews all freshmen applicants with the same holistic evaluation process, the NCAA only provided exceptions for ACT/SAT requirements for fall 2020 applicants. Therefore, we have not received an update regarding if an extension of their exception will be enacted for fall 2021 applicants.

All admitted students who do not have an ACT or SAT score on file by May 1, 2021 will be required to take two institutional assessments. The ACCUPLACER exam is an assessment for English and Reading placement levels. The ALEKS exam is an assessment for Math placement. Both exams can be completed online. The student is responsible for the associated registration costs.