2020 Testing Requirements for Colleges

2020 Testing Requirements for Colleges

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/UniversityUS News RankingSAT/ACTSAT Subject TestSubmitting Test ScoresSuperscore
Princeton University#1OptionalOptionalOfficial Score ReportYes
Harvard University#2OptionalOptionalOfficial Score Report OR self-reportYes
Columbia University#3OptionalOptionalOfficial Score Report OR self-reportYes
Duke University#10OptionalNot requiredOfficial Score Report OR self-reportYes
Brown University#14OptionalNot recommended, but consideredOfficial Score Report OR self-reportYes
Cornell University#17OptionalOptionalOfficial Score Report OR self-reportYes
Universities of California--OptionalOptionalOfficial Score Report, sent to ONE campus onlyYes
Emory University#21OptionalOptionalOfficial Score Report OR self-reportYes
Georgetown University#24RequiredRecommendedOfficial Score ReportNo, submit entire testing record
Carnegie Mellon University#25FlexibleNot consideredOfficial Score ReportYes
University of Michigan Ann Arbor#25FlexibleOptionalOfficial Score Report OR self-reportYes
Georgia Institute of Technology#29OptionalOptionalSelf-reportYes
New York University#29FlexibleOptionalOfficial Score ReportYes
Boston College#37OptionalOptionalOfficial Score ReportYes
Boston University#40OptionalOptionalOfficial Score ReportYes
Northeastern University#40OptionalOptionalOfficial Score Report OR self-reportYes
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign#48OptionalOptionalSelf-reportYes
Rutgers University - New Brunswick#62OptionalOptionalOfficial Score ReportYes
George Washington University#70OptionalOptionalOfficial Score ReportYes
United States Service AcademiesunrankedRequiredNot consideredOfficial Score ReportYes


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.

Next Steps

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.

Want help? Call 855-346-1410 or contact us here to set up a consultation with an expert college admissions counselor!

Jaehee Ahn

Jaehee Ahn is MEK Review's Director of Academic Counseling Services and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She is also an alumnus of MEK Review's SAT Prep program. If you have any questions about our College Counseling programs or wish to set up a consultation, you can email Jaehee at acs@mekreview.com.


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