Yale has adopted a test-optional policy for first-year and transfer applicants in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 admissions cycles. Review details below.

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Standardized Testing for Transfer Applicants

Yale evaluates each applicant as an individual. Standardized test scores are just one of many factors Yale may consider when reviewing applications.

In response to the extraordinary circumstances associated with the pandemic, Yale is temporarily suspending its requirement that transfer applicants submit results from the ACT or SAT. The change will be in effect during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 admissions cycles for applicants who intend to matriculate in fall 2021 or fall 2022. Applicants who are unable to complete an exam or who choose not to report exam scores will not be disadvantaged.

When reviewing applications in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 admissions cycles, the Admissions Committee will expect that some applicants will have completed one or more exams and received scores they feel reflect their academic strengths and college preparedness. Others may be disappointed in their performance but face barriers to registering or preparing for an additional exam date. And some students will simply be unable to complete any exam prior to the application deadline. Yale’s policy is designed to accommodate all students with a straightforward option: report ACT or SAT scores if you wish.

For applicants who have previously applied to Yale University, all test results submitted in prior applications will be available for review.

A policy decision for students applying to enroll in fall 2023 or later will be made in winter 2022. 

Scroll down for more information about

  • ACT and SAT overview
  • ACT and SAT policies
  • Additional exams
  • Sending scores after applying
  • Testing for non-native English speakers

ACT and SAT overview

During the 2020-21 and 2021-22 admissions cycles, applicants to Yale College may opt to report results from the ACT and/or the SAT. Applicants who are unable to complete an exam or who choose not to report exam scores will not be disadvantaged.

The Common and Coalition Applications will include the following question: “Yale is providing applicants the option to have their applications reviewed with or without ACT or SAT scores. Do you wish to have ACT or SAT scores considered with your application?” 

  • Applicants who respond “Yes” may not change their response. Any official or self-reported ACT or SAT scores included with a student’s application will be considered during the review process.
  • Applicants who respond “No” may change their response to “Yes” by using the Application Update Form on the Yale Admissions Status Portal to self-report ACT or SAT results at any time after applying.

Standardized test results, when included, are just one component of a student’s application and are viewed within the context of the student’s entire file. There is no minimum score required for admission, nor is there a score that will guarantee admission. The middle 50% of test scores (the 25th to the 75th percentiles) for enrolled first-year students in Fall 2020 were as follows:

  • SAT-Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 720-780
  • SAT-Math: 740-800
  • ACT Composite: 33-35

Note: the above data reflects score ranges before Yale temporarily adopted a test-optional policy. While Yale’s test-optional policy is in effect, the admissions office will not report data on the test scores or test-sharing choices of applicants, admitted students, or enrolling students.  

ACT and SAT policies:

  • SAT vs ACT: The Yale Admissions Committee does not prefer one test over the other, and students who submit both the SAT and ACT are not at an advantage.
  • Essay and Writing Sections: The ACT Essay and SAT Writing sections are optional. Applicants who opt to complete the Essay or Writing section may self-report their Essay or Writing subscore on the application. Official score reports from the ACT or SAT will include the Essay or Writing subscore when applicable.
  • Self-Reporting Scores: Students who opt to include ACT and/or SAT scores with their application may self-report scores on the application and/or via the “Update Application” form, available on the Yale Admissions Status Portal after an application has been received. Applicants who are offered admission and choose to matriculate at Yale will be required to provide official results of all self-reported scores prior to enrolling. Discrepancies between an applicant’s self-reported scores and official scores may result in the withdrawal of an offer of admission. 
  • Multiple Tests & Test Dates: Applicants who opt to include scores may choose to report scores from one exam date or multiple exam dates, but they must include a complete set of subscores - e.g. Mathematics and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing for the SAT; English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science for the ACT.
  • Superscoring: When assessing SAT results, admissions officers will focus on the highest individual section scores from all test dates. For example, if an applicant took the SAT twice, the highest Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math scores will be considered individually. When assessing ACT results, admissions officers will focus on the highest ACT Composite from all test dates while also considering individual ACT subscores.

Additional exams

SAT Subject Tests have been discontinued. Results from these exams will not considered for any transfer applicants.

Students who have completed AP Exams, IB Exams, or AICE Exams prior to submitting their applications may opt to self-report scores in the testing section of the Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge National College Match Application. Students who have completed any of these exams and who feel that their results demonstrate strength in specific academic areas may want to self-report those scores, but reporting them is entirely optional. As in other parts of the application, exam results will be considered as one component among many of a whole-person review process.

Sending scores after applying

Applicants who complete a standardized exam or receive a new exam score after submitting their application may use the “Update Application” form available on the Yale Admissions Status Portal to self-report new scores, or list Yale as an official score recipient either on or in advance of the test date. Yale’s CEEB code for the SAT is 3987; the ACT code is 0618.

Testing for non-native English speakers

Yale strongly recommends that non-native English-speakers who have not taken at least two years of secondary education where English is the medium of instruction take any one of the proficiency tests listed below.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The TOEFL requires pre-registration for available testing dates. Yale’s most competitive applicants have TOEFL scores of at least: 

  • 100 on the internet-based TOEFL
  • 25 on each of the three sections of the paper-and-pencil TOEFL Paper-delivered Test

Results from the November test (for Single-Choice Early Action) or the January test (for Regular Decision) may not arrive in time for the committee’s consideration. Be sure to include Yale’s CEEB code (3987) on all test registrations.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Pearson Test of English (PTE)

The IELTS and PTE offer proficiency tests in locations around the world. Pre-registration is required. Yale’s most competitive applicants have IELTS scores of 7 or higher and Pearson Test scores of 70 or higher.

Duolingo English Test (DET)

Applicants may submit the Duolingo English Test (DET), which combines an English proficiency test with a brief video interview. Duolingo’s technology and format allows applicants to complete the test at any time or place with internet access. Yale’s most competitive applicants have DET scores of at least 120.

InitialView

InitialView provides live, unscripted video interviews that candidates may submit to colleges for consideration with other application materials. Interview times must be reserved in advance. There is no scoring associated with these interviews.