Due to ongoing concerns about future test dates and the availability of test centers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Boston College will be test optional for first-year applicants during the 2020-21 admission cycle.
Students who are unable to submit standardized test results, or who choose not to, will not be disadvantaged in our selection process. For those students who do submit standardized testing results, we will use the scores as one component in our holistic review of applications.
In reviewing applications that do not include standardized test results, the Admission Committee will place greater emphasis on other required application credentials including academic performance, rigor of coursework, placement in class, personal statements, recommendations, and co-curricular involvement. Students who wish to further quantify their academic successes are welcome to submit non-required credentials such as Advanced Placement scores, predicted IB scores, or SAT Subject Test results (if previously taken).
Given the many challenges facing high school students during this uncertain time, we hope this news will help to alleviate stress and concerns for students who have been unable to adequately prepare or register for standardized tests.
Yes. Test scores of applicants who choose to submit them will be used as a factor within our holistic admission review as we render our decisions. For admission to the Class of 2023, the middle 50% range for enrolled students was 1370-1490 on the SAT and 31-34 on the ACT.
Learn more about our test-optional policy:
Does this policy apply to international students?
Yes. However, international students will still be required to demonstrate English language proficiency via the TOEFL or IELTS examination. This requirement may be waived for students who speak English as their native language, attended a US high school for at least three years in a non-ESOL curriculum, or for students who do submit standardized test results and earn scores of 650 or greater on the SAT EBRW or 29 or greater on the ACT English section. Learn more here.
Does this policy apply to transfer applicants?
No. Because the vast majority of transfer applicants submit standardized test scores that were taken while they were in high school, this policy does not apply to transfer students in the 2020-21 application cycle. We expect our transfer students will have taken their exams prior to the pandemic and will have scores to report.
Does this policy apply to home-schooled students?
Yes. However, because the Admission Committee has little context in which to evaluate home-schooled students’ academic results, standardized test results have always been extremely helpful in our deliberation process for this population. Home-schooled applicants who are unable to submit standardized test results are strongly encouraged to submit other available quantitative results such as AP exam scores, SAT Subject Test scores (if previously taken), or other external results to assist us in our evaluation. Official college transcripts should be submitted for all college courses completed.
Does this policy apply to athletic recruits?
Yes. While NCAA Division I policies require student-athletes to submit standardized testing to the NCAA to determine eligibility, recruited student-athletes will have a choice around whether to submit standardized tests as part of the admission process.
Yes. All applicants who submit their admission applications by November 1 will be eligible for consideration of one of 15 Presidential Scholarships. Learn more about applying for the Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program.
At Boston College, standardized testing provides meaningful context as we evaluate candidates with varying degrees of curricular rigor across more than 6,000 high schools from which we receive applications each year. Our research routinely demonstrates that the inclusion of standardized testing as part of our holistic review process provides the greatest predictive value toward ensuring student success.
With this in mind, we expect to restore standardized testing as a requirement for applicants once the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have subsided.
Updates on Boston College's preparations for the fall semester can be found at bc.edu/reopen