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 2024, the middle 50% range for admitted students was 1410-1520 on the SAT and 33-35 on the ACT.
Grant Gosselin, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Admission, talks about Boston College's adapted standardized testing policy for applicants to the Class of 2025.
Learn more about our test-optional policy:
Can I switch my testing plan after submitting my Common Application?
Students who submit standardized test results to Boston College, and also indicate on their Common Application that they plan to submit an ACT and/or SAT report for review, will be unable to switch their application to test-optional at a later point during the review process. Once scores become part of a student's file, they cannot be removed.
Students who apply as test-optional candidates and later wish to change their testing plan to include standardized test results may request to do so. The Office of Undergraduate Admission will remain as flexible as possible to accommodate these requests, but cannot guarantee that a change will be approved. Application review commences on our application deadlines and files that have already been reviewed prior to a request being received are not re-evaluated. For full consideration, students should contact us directly as close to our deadlines as possible.
If I have been able to sit for an exam, how should I know whether to submit my scores?
Like any portion of an application, strong performance could improve a student's candidacy and weak performance could hinder it. As you make this decision, we encourage you to compare the scores you have earned with the mid-50% ranges for admitted students from last year's class, provided above. This context should be helpful in assessing whether or not your scores may positively impact a decision.
Does this policy apply to international students?
Yes. However, international students will still be required to demonstrate English language proficiency via TOEFL, IELTS, or Duoligo English Test results. 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, 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.