As you begin compiling the list of colleges to apply to, it can be hard to keep track of all the different testing requirements for each college.
Some schools require you to submit SAT or ACT scores; others do not. Some colleges require you to take additional SAT Subject tests, depending upon your major; some won’t even look at additional test scores! Plus, what do colleges mean when they say a test is required, recommended, or optional?
Luckily, MEK Review has you covered!
We’ve created a list of over 150 popular colleges and their admission testing requirements in 2019-2020!
Here are several key terms you’ll find in our list:
Refers to the Scholastic Aptitude Test created by College Board. Accepted by most universities to test college readiness. Over 2.1 million students took this test last year! The test consists of 2 Math sections, 1 Evidence Based Reading section, and 1 Writing Section, plus an optional essay that some colleges require prospective students to take, while some do not. The test is scored from a range of 400-1600.
The SAT’s twin competitor is another college readiness test that is also accepted by most universities. Last year, 1.9 million students took this exam. The test consists of 1 Math section, 1 Science section, 1 English section, and 1 Reading section, plus an optional essay that some colleges require students to take. The test is scored from a range of 1-36.
Refers to 20 additional standardized tests by College Board, each of which focus on a specific subject such as Science, Math, English, or Foreign Language. The test is scored in a range of 200-800. Historically, more elite colleges have required or recommended these tests to show a student’s proficiency in a particular area.
Here are the 20 subjects offered:
- Math Level 1
- Math Level 2
- Biology Ecological/Molecular
- U.S. History
- World History
- Spanish with Listening
- French with Listening
- Chinese with Listening
- German with Listening
- Modern Hebrew
- Japanese with Listening
- Korean with Listening
This test stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language and is designed to test the proficiency of non-English speaking people. It is scored within a range of 0-120.
Many universities require this test and a minimum score for international students. However, for some universities, the TOEFL is only one option of several that an international student can complete to demonstrate fluency in English.
If a school accepts the TOEFL, we listed the minimum score required. Some schools require the test but do not list a minimum score, some colleges only recommend it, and some do not accept it.
If you are not an international student, the TOEFL is not something you need to worry about.
Advanced Placement tests take place at the end of the year, when a student has completed an Advanced Placement course in high school. These tests verify what you have learned and whether you should earn college credit. The AP tests are also often used similarly to SAT Subject tests in that they show your skills and knowledge in a specific subject.
AP tests are scored within a range of 1-5. You must score a minimum of 3 to be considered “college ready” in this subject, although many colleges have even higher standards. In the list below, we only listed AP tests that are required or can be used instead of SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject tests.
If a test is listed as required, that means you MUST take the test and submit your scores for your application to be considered. On our list, the SAT and ACT are listed under one column because almost all schools will accept both, but only require one. Any exceptions are included in this list.
Your application won’t be thrown out if you don’t submit this particular test. However, admission officers REALLY want you to submit these scores, so you should more or less consider it required.
Admissions officers will factor into their admissions decision any test scores submitted by students, but students are not required to send these tests. In other words, if a test score is listed as “considered”, you only want to take this test and submit your scores if your score is high and can help your admission chances. Low scores could hurt your chances.
This means that the admissions officers do not care whether students submit scores or not. Many schools have made the SAT Subject test optional as a result of the financial constraints these tests have imposed on families. Some colleges will not even review your scores at all, if received.
Key Admissions Testing Trends
While reviewing the list, consider these interesting trends or patterns.
Less Required Standardized Tests
Over the past three years, there are many schools that have made tests optional. For instance, the University of Chicago and Wesleyan, two very competitive schools, are no longer requiring the submission of any tests. Wake Forest University even refers to standardized tests as “evil”!
SAT Subject Tests
Most schools no longer require or recommend the SAT Subject Tests. However, many of the Ivy Leagues or top 10 universities still recommend two SAT Subject tests. Only 1 school in the United States – Georgetown University – recommends 3 SAT Subject tests for all applicants.
Yet when reviewing the list, make note of special testing requirements listed under Other. Many schools offering 7- or 8-year Accelerated Medical Program or certain highly ranked Engineering or Pre-law programs require students to take specific Subject tests. One interesting requirement for Boston University’s Accelerated Medical Program is the submission of three Subject tests: Math, Chemistry and a Foreign Language Subject test!
Most of the colleges listed below are in the United States. However, we’ve also listed a few prominent international universities that have been popular among MEK Review students over the years – McGill in Canada, many United Kingdom schools and Les Roches in Switzerland.
It is interesting to note that universities, primarily in the U.K., do not think highly of U.S. standards in testing. Therefore, instead of the SAT/ACT, UK universities require SAT Subject tests and/or AP tests, with score requirements that are oftentimes beyond a typical U.S. student’s reach.
For instance, Cambridge University requires 5 AP tests with perfect scores of 5 on each test. Please note that Oxford University is in a category of its own and does not value any US standardized tests. Instead, students are asked to take the Oxford entrance examination at any British embassy or consulate.
Self-Reporting Test Scores
About half of the schools on this list now allow students to self-report their test scores on their application. If the student is accepted to one of these schools, he or she will be asked to have College Board or ACT submit the official scores to the admissions office for verification.
College Admission Test Requirements
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How to Use this List
Now that you know what colleges require which test, it’s time to start preparing!
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