SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Students who apply to attend the University of Illinois for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years will not have to take standardized admissions tests.

The Executive Committee for the University of Illinois System Board of Trustees approved a request to allow high school students to skip the tests, made in response to pandemic-driven restrictions on large gatherings that limit students ability to take the SAT and ACT tests.

Thursday’s decision extends a policy allowing test-optional admissions at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, University of Illinois Chicago and University of Illinois Springfield for the 2021-22 academic year. Many other universities in the United States have already extended test-optional policies, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This decision by the Executive Committee will allow those considering a U of I System university to apply without worrying about the availability of a standardized test,” system President Tim Killeen said. “I thank our trustees for continuing to make the safety of our prospective students and fairness in our admissions processes top priorities.”