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Standardized Testing Policy

We know that a standardized test may not be the best measure of your curiosity about the world, how hard you work to learn something difficult, or your ability to bring together people with vastly different points of view. At Swarthmore, we practice holistic and contextual admissions. This means that while we may consider how well you do on these tests — and hope you prepare for them best you can — we do not make admissions decisions based on just one factor like a test score. Each piece of your application is important to us, including: the rigor of your curriculum; your extracurricular involvement and talent; your academic performance; your essays and written expression; your contributions to the classroom and your community; your recommendation letters; and your test scores — if you choose to submit them.

Recommended and Optional Tests

For students applying to Swarthmore in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 admissions cycles, we have suspended our requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. You will have the option to submit scores to us, and you will have the option for us to not consider scores already submitted. Test scores for the next two years are optional, and students who either did not take a test or choose not to share results with us will not be penalized in the admissions process.

When applying to Swarthmore, you will be asked to share your plans regarding the submission or consideration of SAT or ACT scores as part of your application. There will be 4 options for you to choose from, and this selection cannot be modified after submitting your application. The options are as follows:

  • I would like my SAT score(s) and ACT score(s) to be considered in the application review.  
  • I would like my SAT score(s) to be considered in the application review. If ACT scores are submitted, they will be suppressed from my application.
  • I would like my ACT score(s) to be considered in the application review.  If SAT scores are submitted, they will be suppressed from my application.
  • I would like to suppress all SAT and ACT score(s) from my application. I understand the Admissions Committee will review my application without these scores, even if submitted.

Should you choose to do so, you will have the option to submit scores from multiple exams in the admissions process, self-reported or officially, including the following tests: SAT, ACT, AP exam scores, IB exam scores, PSAT, and PreACT. SAT subject tests are not required, and we will not review SAT subject tests, even if submitted to us, for applicants entering in fall 2021.

For those who choose to submit SAT or ACT scores, we do not require the optional essay section of the SAT or the optional writing section of the ACT. If you provide scores from those sections, they will not be considered in our application review. Swarthmore College superscores your SAT results — that is, we only consider the highest section scores submitted from multiple SAT test dates. Similarly, we only consider the highest section scores submitted from multiple ACT test dates, as well as the highest ACT composite score submitted.

If the majority of your education has been taught in a non-English language curricula, we encourage you to provide results from the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test.

Submitting Test Scores

​Self-Reporting Scores

  • You may self-report your standardized test scores on your application for admission. In addition, you may self-report or update your standardized test scores via a link in your applicant portal, which is available after you submit your application for admission.  Should you choose to submit test scores, we accept self-reported scores in lieu of official scores for all applicants.

Submitting Official Scores

  • We accept score reports as official when they are sent to our office via email, fax, or postal mail directly from a school counselor, principal or other school official. Or, you may submit official test scores directly from the testing agencies. Our testing codes are 2821 (College Board), 3722 (ACT), and 2821 (TOEFL).  
  • Swarthmore College allows students to use Score Choice, a College Board option to submit select test scores. We also allow you to submit your ACT scores from the dates of your choosing. Should you choose to share your exam results with us, you are not required to submit all test scores to the College.
  • Students who are admitted and choose to enroll are required to submit official standardized test scores after confirming their intent to matriculate to Swarthmore College. Admissions will verify scores for all enrolling students. Any discrepancy between self-reported and official scores may jeopardize a student’s enrollment at Swarthmore.