The Student Assembly has since shifted to meeting over Zoom after in-person classes were canceled.

Hannah Rosenberg / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

The Student Assembly has since shifted to meeting over Zoom after in-person classes were canceled.

April 9, 2020

S.A. Asks Cornell Grad Schools to Temporarily Waive Standardized Test Requirement

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In its first meeting since classes restarted, the Student Assembly unanimously passed a resolution calling for Cornell’s graduate programs to temporarily waive Graduate Record Examination and Graduate Management Admissions Test requirements for the fall 2020 semester.

The GRE and GMAT are standardized tests that graduate programs in a majority of colleges across the country require for admission.

The resolution recognized that applicants did not necessarily have access to resources that would enable them to succeed on the test, specifically reliable internet access.

Ian Wallace ’20, S.A. executive archivist and co-sponsor of the bill, also noted that the GRE online test software requires a computer running Windows, effectively stopping iOS users from taking the test.

S.A. members raised concerns about their jurisdiction over GRE/GMAT requirements, citing the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly as a more relevant body to discuss this resolution.

Wallace said that he had not sent this resolution to the GPSA and confirmed that the S.A. could pass this proposal per its bylaws.

This isn’t the first time that there have been calls to mend standardized testing requirements. In 2019, English department faculty voted to eliminate the GRE requirement for their Ph.D. students, making it the first graduate program at Cornell to do so.

A decision to forgo GRE/GMAT requirements would put Cornell in the company of the graduate programs at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Alabama, two schools which have already lifted those prerequisites for the fall 2020 semester.