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Testing

As part of our holistic admissions process, we use standardized testing to gain more insight into the academic preparation of our applicants. These tests represent one component in our admissions process in conjunction with other academic and non-academic factors.

The College Board and ACT provide free resources that can help you be prepared for the exams. Follow these links to learn more about preparing for the SAT and the ACT.

Our testing policy is as follows:

REQUIRED

ACT or SAT

TOEFL or IELTS (For international applicants - see Required Testing section)

RECOMMENDED

Two SAT Subject Tests (further recommendations below)

  • We do not require the writing portion of the ACT.
  • Current (March 2016 onwards): We do not require the essay portion of the current SAT.
  • Students who are native speakers of English or who attend school where the language of instruction is English are not required to take the TOEFL or IELTS.

 

Self-Reported Scores

Penn will review self-reported SAT and ACT test scores from first year applications attending high schools in the United States. Recruited athletes and students attending high schools outside of the U.S. are required to submit official testing through the appropriate testing agency or University-approved source. To self-report your scores, use the testing section of the Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application. We recommend that you self-report each test you will use to select the highest score in each section.

Admitted students must submit official score reports prior to enrollment. If you are self-reporting sections from multiple test dates then you must submit official reports from each sitting prior to enrollment. If you choose to self-report your tests scores, then please be sure your self-reporting is accurate. Penn reserves the right to rescind admission in the case of applicant misrepresentation including discrepancies between self-reported and official test scores.

Tests must be taken by the appropriate application deadline:

Test Early Decision Regular Decision Transfer Decision
Latest SAT Test Date November 2019 December 2019 March 2020
Latest ACT Test Date October 2019 December 2019 February 2020
Latest SAT Subject Test Date November 2019 December 2019 December 2020

Testing codes: SAT – 2926; ACT – 3732; TOEFL -2926

 

Recommended Testing

SAT Subject Tests are recommended but not required. Applicants who do not take SAT Subject Tests will not be at a disadvantage in the admissions process.

Area of Study RECOMMENDED subject test(s)
Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Any two Subject Tests
Nursing Science, preferably Chemistry
Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) Math Level 2 and a science test (preferably Physics for Engineering Applicants)
Business Math Level 2

 

Additional Information

  • Score Choice: Although we permit Score Choice, we encourage students to submit their entire testing history for both ACT and SAT exams.
  • SAT vs. ACT: No preference is given to the SAT or the ACT. If an applicant submits both tests, we will pay attention to the higher score from either test.
  • Superscoring: For the SAT (pre-March 2016) SAT scores will only be superscored with other pre-March 2016 SAT results. Current SAT scores (March 2016 onwards) will only be superscored with current SAT test results. For the ACT, we consider the highest individual English, Math, Reading, and Science scores across test sittings. In other words, we superscore the ACT and we superscore within old and current SATs but not between old and current SAT tests.