Your Dream School is Test Optional: What Does that Mean?

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The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in cancelled test dates or limited seating for the SAT and ACT, prompting a number of colleges and universities to temporarily suspend standardized test requirements for first-year and transfer applicants. Since test optional policies vary depending on the institution, it’s important to read the fine print, which is typically available on a school’s website or by contacting an admission representative.

A test optional policy allows applicants to submit standardized test scores if they want them to be considered in the review for admission and scholarship programs — but your application will not be disadvantaged if you are unable to or choose not to submit them.

Important Notes:

Confirm that you are still eligible for merit and other scholarships. Somes colleges require standardized test scores in order for an applicant to be considered for merit scholarships. 

Be sure that your specific major or program is test optional. While a university may have a test optional policy, certain programs such as nursing and primary/secondary education may still require standardized test scores.

Check other testing requirements. If you are a non-native English speaker, you will likely still be required to demonstrate English language proficiency through your results of the TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge English Assessment or Duolingo exam, all of which offer online testing. 

Bentley is among the many universities that announced a temporary suspension of the application requirement for standardized test scores for first-year and transfer students applying for fall 2022 and spring 2023. Students who are not able to submit test scores will not be disadvantaged for admission or scholarship consideration. This applies to both domestic and international applicants. Learn more about Bentley’s test optional policy here.

“Test scores have always been just one of several factors taken into consideration in the admission decision,” says Mario Silva-Rosa, Director of Undergraduate Admission at Bentley University. “Your secondary school curriculum and the grades you earn carry more weight in the admission review process as they represent your achievements over a sustained period of time.”

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