Photo by Gary Wayne Gilbert

Boston College will become test optional for first-year applicants during the 2020-2021 admission cycle due to ongoing concerns about future test dates and the availability of test centers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University announced today. It intends to return to using standardized testing once the pandemic has subsided.

Director of Undergraduate Admission Grant Gosselin said that high school students who are unable to submit standardized test results this coming year, or who choose not to, will not be disadvantaged in BC’s selection process. For those students who do submit standardized testing results, Boston College will use the scores as one component in the holistic review of applications.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented high school students with unprecedented challenges surrounding their academic and personal pursuits,” said Gosselin. “The limited availability of standardized tests this year has added an additional level of stress to many students who have been unable to register for testing. We hope this decision puts those applicants’ minds at ease, and will allow them to focus on the other important aspects of their college search and application process in the months ahead.”   

Gosselin said that in reviewing applications that do not include standardized test results, the Undergraduate 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.

“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,” said Gosselin.

“Furthermore, our research routinely demonstrates that the inclusion of standardized testing in our holistic review process provides meaningful predictive value toward ensuring student success. To that end, we expect to restore standardized testing as a requirement for applicants once the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have subsided.”

This past year, Boston College received nearly 30,000 applications for the 2,300 seats in the Class of 2024. The average SAT for admitted students was 1453, and the average ACT was 33.  Boston College admitted students from 49 U.S. states, two U.S. territories, and 60 countries around the world.

For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admission website.

Jack Dunn | University Communications | June 2020