Meliora letters spelled out in front of Rush Rhees Library

Testing Policy

As an applicant to Rochester, you are able to not only choose which standardized test to include in your application, but you may elect to omit the test altogether, if you believe that other elements of your application represent you better.

Holistic Review

At the University of Rochester, admission to the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering is based on a holistic review process that includes many academic and non-academic indicators. As we seek to enroll a diverse and talented class each year, our review procedures incorporates a variety of factors, including many kinds of academic records and we realize that testing is not always the best reflection of a student’s academic abilities and potential for success.

Test Optional

Beginning with students applying for the fall of 2020, the University of Rochester will adopt a test-optional application policy as part of our holistic review for undergraduate admissions. This review process incorporates a variety of factors, including many kinds of academic and non-academic factors and realizes that standardized tests may not be an accurate reflection of a student’s abilities.

Through our test-optional approach, applicants may decide for themselves which exam, if any, is an accurate representation of their ability and potential for future success. The University will continue to review and consider test scores for those applicants who decide to submit them. Applicants choosing to not submit standardized tests will not be at a disadvantage nor will it negatively impact their application review. At the time of submitting an application applicants will be required to indicate if they wish to apply as test-optional or test-flexible (indicating which form of testing they wish to include). These questions are located in the University of Rochester-specific question section of the application.

University drops first-year admission standardized test requirement

As part of the new test-optional policy, applicants for first-year admission to the College at the University are no longer required to submit any standardized test results.

FAQs

For non-native speakers, familiarity with academic spoken and written English matters here. We will continue to require English-language testing (TOEFL or IELTS) for some students. Learn more.

We regret that anyone intending to apply ED to Rochester may have already taken one of the earlier ACT or SAT tests in accordance with our previous policy. We can’t give you your money or time back, but please understand that you can still submit those test results in support of your application and we will still use them if you want us to—or not.  

It’s unlikely to hurt your chances. Starting this year and over time, we expect tests will have decreasing value in our decision-making for all applicants, as our expertise and confidence increases using other measures for our non-test-submitters. In this first year in particular, however, we expect that the vast majority of test submissions we receive will continue to reinforce what we learn from school records and other parts of the application; so while they might not help much, they won’t hurt.

The REMS admission rate is about 2%. If you believe that your test results help reinforce the strength of your overall application to REMS, you should submit them. However, all candidates with an interest in REMS will receive the same thorough review, whether they submit test scores or not. The same is true for scholarships. Test scores are not required to compete for any of Rochester’s scholarships, including our National Merit scholarships. However, applicants interested in scholarships can submit test scores.

Rochester will accept self-reported exam scores for admissions review. Applicants who self-report scores, earn admission, and choose to attend Rochester will have to send their official scores via the testing agency or on an official school document before they can enroll.

Yes. Rochester will continue to review test submissions other than the SAT or ACT and expects to continue offering admission to students whose “other” test results reinforce the overall strength of their application. 

If you tell us on your application that you prefer not to submit test scores, we will not use them in our review, even if we have them. 

You can try, but our file review process is linear and reading timelines vary. Therefore, if the committee doesn’t see your test scores (at your request), they will not re-review your file just because test scores arrive later. Students whose initial application result in a deferral (from Early Decision to Regular Decision review) or an invitation to the alternate list can choose to submit test scores for the later reviews.

Our file review process is linear and timing varies. Therefore, if the committee has seen and used your test scores at your (initial) request, they will not conduct a re-review based on your later request for us not to use them. 

We believe this question obscures a dangerous premise. For many decades, the fact that “everyone” applying to Rochester could in theory take an ACT or SAT exam hid a deeper and important truth that some of our applicants can afford to take the test only one time, or see it for the first time in actual testing conditions, while some of our applicants have seen this kind of test many times, taken it multiple times, and can afford to spend many hours and funds preparing for it. That means the test conditions can’t be “fair.” Some of our applicants take the test untimed, based on a diagnosis of learning differences. While we value and honor those students having that opportunity, we expect that many other students whose learning differences have never been diagnosed take it as a timed test. That’s also not “fair.” Since the life circumstances prior to the test vary in uncountable ways, using the test results as a common yardstick, even in context, creates an illusion of fairness that causes more problems than it solves. 

Meanwhile, students who prepare for the test and believe the results convey something helpful about their preparation for college can submit those results to Rochester, just as others might choose to submit an extra letter of recommendation, a longer list of activities, complete an interview with us, or submit a video or portfolio.

We look forward to a time when applicants won’t take any extra test for their Rochester application, since we don’t need them. In the real world for now, as students apply to Rochester along with many other places who do require specific tests, we will continue assigning value to that effort. 

If you have additional questions, please contact the Office of Admissions at (585) 275-3221 or admit@admissions.rochester.edu.

Test Flexible

For students who choose to apply using test scores, a wide variety of testing can fulfill Rochester’s test-flexible application option. Testing that will fulfill our test-flexible application option includes any of the following exams:

  • SAT Reasoning; no essay required (Use code 2928)
  • ACT; no essay required (Use code 2980)
  • Two or more results from:
    • SAT Subject exams
    • Advanced Placement (AP)
    • International Baccalaureate (IB)*
  • AS- and A- Level Exams (in UK and Commonwealth countries) (3–4 exams preferred)
  • Results from many other national secondary exams (see the list below)

*For IB, submission of test results should come as a signed and dated letter of predicted IB scores from the IBO coordinator on campus. The more detail included, the more helpful the results are to us.

Reporting Scores

Student Self-Reported – For admission review, the University of Rochester will accept scores from the SAT Reasoning, SAT Subject Test, ACT or completed AP examinations that you report on your application. We are not able to accept student self-reported test scores via email, phone or postal mail. If you earn admission based on records including self-reported scores, our office will require you to submit the official test scores shortly after submitting your enrollment deposit and prior to your arrival on campus. Any significant discrepancies between the actual scores and the self-reported values may jeopardize a student’s place in the incoming class.

Projected Scores – The University of Rochester will also accept some projected exam scores (e.g., IB, A-Levels) from school officials. Please note that the school official must affix a signature verifying that they are providing a reasonable and accurate estimate of scores that the applicant is expected to earn at some future date less than one calendar year away. The more detail included, the more helpful the projected results can be. If you earn admission based on records including projected scores, our office will require you to submit the official test scores shortly after submitting your enrollment deposit and prior to your arrival on campus. Any significant discrepancies between the actual scores and the predicted values may jeopardize a student’s place in the incoming class.

SAT/ACT Testing Deadlines

We encourage applicants to submit test scores in advance of the application deadline.  However, in some cases applicants may elect to send scores from additional exams.  For applicants applying Early Decision we will accept October ACT scores and November SAT scores to be included in your application review.  For applicants applying Regular Decision we will accept December ACT and SAT scores to be included in your application.

Application Plan                               Latest Testing (ACT)                       Latest Testing (SAT)

Early Decision I                                  October                                               November

Regular Decision                               December                                           December

Additional Information on Testing

We super score testing, meaning we use your highest SAT or ACT sub-scores in our final decision, even if they are from different test dates. However, we do not combine SAT and ACT for a hybrid super score.

Enrolling students who have chosen to include testing as part of their application for admission will need to submit official test scores that mirror their self-reported and/or projected (if used for review); scores must be submitted either directly from the testing agency (preferred), included on an official secondary school transcript sent directly from the secondary school, or submitted by a school counselor (or designated official) when that counselor/official has been indicated as the student’s counselor on the application.

List of Approved National Exams

The list below indicates, by country, which examinations will fulfill our test-flexible application option. The list is not comprehensive and will be updated as new examinations are approved.

Please email Admissions with questions regarding examinations that are not included in this list.

Students may submit their Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) or Overall Position (OP) positioning and one of the following:

  • Australian Capital Territory Year 12 Certificate
  • New South Wales Higher School Certificate (HSC)
  • Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET)
  • Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)
  • South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE)
  • Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE)
  • Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), or
  • Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)
  • Matura
  • Abschlusszeugnis der Oberstufe des Sekundarunterrichts (German)
  • Certificat d’enseignement secondaire supérieur (CESS) (French)
  • Diploma van secundair onderwijs (Flemish)
  • Certificado de Conclusao de Ensino Medio + Vestibular (University Entrance Exam)
  • Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio/Middle Education National Examination (ENEM)
  • General Certificate Exam (GCE) Advanced Levels
  • Matura
  • Canadian Provincial Secondary School qualifications
  • General Certificate Exam (GCE) Advanced Levels
  • Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination
  • Prueba De Seleccion Universitaria
  • Bachillerato Nacional
  • Matura
  • Apolytirion
  • Maturitní zkouška (Maturity Certificate)
  • Studentereksamen (Upper Secondary School Leaving Exam) (STX)
  • Hǿjere Forberedelseseksamen (Higher Preparatory Exam) (HF)
  • Riigieksamitunnistus
  • European Baccalaureate (EB)
  • Ylioppilastutkintotodistus (Matriculation Examination Certificate)
  • Baccalauréat
  • Abitur
  • Apolytirion
  • Hong Kong Advanced Level Certificate
  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)
  • Érettségi vizsga (Maturity Certificate)
  • Indian School Certificate (ISC)
  • All India Senior School Certificate Examination (AISSCE)
  • Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC)
  • Other state examinations may be considered on request
  • National Examination
  • Diploma Di Esame Di Stato (Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificate)
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Teudat Bagrut
  • 대학수학능력시험 (College Scholastic Ability Test: CSAT)
  • Testi i Maturës Shtetërore (State Matura Test)
  • Prueba de Aptitud Academica (PAA)
  • Brandos Atestatas (Maturity Certificate)
  • Matura
  • Diplôme de Fin d’Etudes Secondaires
  • Државна матура (State Matura)
  • Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM/Malaysian Higher School Certificate)
  • General Certificate Exam (GCE) Advanced Levels
  • Advanced Level Matriculation Certificate
  • Cambridge Overseas High School Certificate
  • Secondary School Leaving Diploma
  • CENEVAL EXANI II
  • French Baccalauréat
  • Option Internationale du Baccalauréat
  • Cambridge Overseas High School Certificate
  • Staatsexamen VWO
  • National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)
  • Vitnemål fra den Videregående Skole (Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate)
  • Higher Secondary School Certificate Exams
  • Egzamin maturalny (Matura)
  • Prueba de Aptitude Academica (PAA)
  • Baccalaureate
  • Advanced Highers (Highers meet minimum requirements; Advanced Highers is recommended)
  • Matura
  • Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate Exam (GCE) Advanced Levels
  • Slovakian Maturitńa Skúška (Maturita)
  • Splošna Matura
  • Prueba de Acceso a la Universidad (Selectividad)
  • General Certificate Exam (GCE) Advanced Levels
  • Avgangsbetyg
  • Swiss Federal Maturity Certificate
  • Cambridge Overseas Higher School Certificate (COHSC)
  • Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education
  • General Scholastic Ability Test (GSAT)
  • Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE)
  • GCE Advanced Level Examinations or equivalent combination of AS-Level and A-Level examinations Pre U Examinations
  • West African Senior School Certificate Examination
  • ZIMSEC ‘A’ Level Examination
  • Cambridge Overseas Higher School Certificate (COHSC)