With so many colleges adopting test-optional or test-blind policies, many students are getting lost within all the different requirements (and non-requirements). That’s why, we’ve created a list of the 20 most popular colleges that our MEK students have applied to over the past three years. The list shows their updated testing policies for the 2020-2021 application cycle.
|College/University||US News Ranking||SAT/ACT||SAT Subject Test||Submitting Test Scores||Superscore|
|Princeton University||#1||Optional||Optional||Official Score Report||Yes|
|Harvard University||#2||Optional||Optional||Official Score Report OR self-report||Yes|
|Columbia University||#3||Optional||Optional||Official Score Report OR self-report||Yes|
|Duke University||#10||Optional||Not required||Official Score Report OR self-report||Yes|
|Brown University||#14||Optional||Not recommended, but considered||Official Score Report OR self-report||Yes|
|Cornell University||#17||Optional||Optional||Official Score Report OR self-report||Yes|
|Universities of California||--||Optional||Optional||Official Score Report, sent to ONE campus only||Yes|
|Emory University||#21||Optional||Optional||Official Score Report OR self-report||Yes|
|Georgetown University||#24||Required||Recommended||Official Score Report||No, submit entire testing record|
|Carnegie Mellon University||#25||Flexible||Not considered||Official Score Report||Yes|
|University of Michigan Ann Arbor||#25||Flexible||Optional||Official Score Report OR self-report||Yes|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||#29||Optional||Optional||Self-report||Yes|
|New York University||#29||Flexible||Optional||Official Score Report||Yes|
|Boston College||#37||Optional||Optional||Official Score Report||Yes|
|Boston University||#40||Optional||Optional||Official Score Report||Yes|
|Northeastern University||#40||Optional||Optional||Official Score Report OR self-report||Yes|
|University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign||#48||Optional||Optional||Self-report||Yes|
|Rutgers University - New Brunswick||#62||Optional||Optional||Official Score Report||Yes|
|George Washington University||#70||Optional||Optional||Official Score Report||Yes|
|United States Service Academies||unranked||Required||Not considered||Official Score Report||Yes|
Almost all of the above schools are test-optional. This means they will accept and consider test scores if you submit them, but they do not require it. If a school is test-optional, we highly recommend you take and submit test scores if possible. It will be a distinct advantage to your application. (Find out why here.)
Even if a college is test-optional, make sure to double check the school’s detailed testing policies. For selective programs, such as honors programs and accelerated medical/law programs, many schools are still requiring testing.
Test-flexible colleges are basically test-optional schools that highly recommend submitting test scores. While you have the option to not submit test scores, they would prefer you do.
Schools that historically place high emphasis on testing have maintained their testing requirement, which simply means you must submit test scores.
Test-blind is when a school “does not consider” your test scores. They will NOT review scores or factor it into their admission decision. So there is no reason to submit them.
Notice, a couple of the above schools do not consider SAT Subject tests. However, all 20 colleges do consider your SAT/ACT scores.
If any of the above colleges are on your college list, you should plan on taking the SAT or ACT.
However, because of COVID-19, this may not be possible for some students. If that’s the case, we suggest applying to colleges that have a “test-optional” policy and looking for ways to make other parts of your application shine.