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Testing

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

COVID-19 Update: In response to COVID-19, Penn will not require applicants to submit the SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests for the 2020-21 application cycle. This applies to first-year and transfer applicants. Applicants who do not submit SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Test scores will not be at a disadvantage in the admissions process. Students who are able to take the SAT, ACT, and/or SAT Subject Tests and wish to report them may continue with that plan.

The table below summarizes Penn’s testing policies for all students during the 2020-21 application year. For FAQs regarding our testing policy, click here.

Reporting Option Domestic students International students Homeschooled students Recruited athletes Transfer students QuestBridge students
Test optional Yes Yes* Yes Yes** Yes Yes
Self-report test scores Yes Yes* Yes No** Yes Yes

*For international students attending schools where English is not the language of instruction AND not their native language, we continue to require testing that demonstrates English-language proficiency. We accept the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English test. Where the TOEFL iBT is not available due to COVID-19, applicants can take the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition or the TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution. Please note that Penn does not currently accept the IELTS Indicator exam. Students submitting English-language proficiency exams must have official score reports sent to Penn; we do not accept self-reported results for English-language proficiency exams. International students attending English-speaking schools for the duration of high school or possessing English as a native language are not required to submit English-language proficiency testing.

**Penn will continue to follow the guidance and policies of the Ivy League regarding testing requirements for applicants who expect to participate in the varsity athletic program. For more information, please see the Ivy League’s COVID-19 update for prospective student athletes.

Self-Reported Scores

Penn will review self-reported SAT and ACT test scores from first-year applicants with some exceptions. Recruited athletes who submit standardized testing as part of their application are also required to submit official testing through the appropriate testing agency or University-approved source. Also, any students required to submit English-language proficiency exams must have official results sent through official testing agencies to be considered with a student’s application.

To self-report your scores, use the testing section of the Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application. To ensure accurate super scoring (taking the highest composite score across multiple sittings), we recommend that you self-report each test you have taken to select the highest score in each section.

Testing Deadlines (2020-2021 Admissions Cycle)

Tests must be taken by the appropriate application deadline:

Test Early Decision Regular Decision Transfer Decision
Latest SAT Test Date November 2020 December 2020 March 2021
Latest ACT Test Date October 2020 December 2020 February 2021
Latest SAT Subject Test Date November 2020 December 2020 December 2020

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

 

Additional Information

  • The College Board and ACT provide free resources that can help you prepare for the exams. Follow these links to learn more about preparing for the SAT and the ACT.
  • 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, we will combine your highest Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing with your highest Math score across multiple tests to calculate a superscore. For the ACT, we consider the highest individual English, Math, Reading, and Science scores across multiple tests to calculate a superscore composite. If you are self-reporting exams from multiple dates to create your superscore, then we expect you to provide official reports for each test that contributes to your superscore prior to enrollment in line with our self-reported testing policy.