Standardized Testing Policy
Learn more about:
- Swarthmore is extending our test-optional policy for students applying for fall 2023, fall 2024 and fall 2025 entry
- Submitting standardized testing scores—including the SAT, ACT, AP and IB— is optional for the 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 admissions cycles and you will not be penalized in your admissions review if you do not submit scores
- If you submit scores, we do not accept or consider SAT subject tests, or the SAT and ACT writing sections
- If the majority of your education has been taught in a non-English language curriculum, we encourage you to provide results from the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test
- Swarthmore College testing codes are 2821 (College Board/SAT), 3722 (ACT), and 2821 (TOEFL)
When we first announced our test-optional policy, we committed to analyzing the data to determine the future of standardized testing in the Swarthmore admissions process. While our first class to be admitted under a test-optional policy is now on campus, we cannot make a data-informed decision without conducting a longitudinal study. Our pass/fail first semester system means that we need more time to study the relationship between standardized testing and long-term student success.
We also 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 you do on these tests—and hope you prepare for them the 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.
For students applying to Swarthmore in the 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 admissions cycles, we have suspended our requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. Test scores 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. You have the option to submit the SAT and/or ACT to us, and you have the option for us to not consider scores already submitted (score suppression). SAT subject tests, along with the writing sections of both the SAT and ACT, are not accepted or considered.
AP, IB, and other examination scores are optional in our process. Please think carefully on whether you want to share these results with us in your application. You will not have the option to suppress AP, IB, and other examination scores, so if you submit them, we may use them in our review process.
What is score suppression?
During the course of searching for colleges, you may have sent your scores to admissions offices in multiple ways, such as when you signed up for the SAT or ACT. Because we are test-optional, we have made a new option available to you in the application process: score suppression. Choosing to suppress your scores means that the Admissions Committee will not consider those scores even if submitted to us. We will redact, remove, or hide your scores if you choose to suppress your scores.
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 two 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 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, and IB exam scores. SAT subject tests are not required and will not be used in our review process even if submitted to us.
Swarthmore College superscores your SAT results — that is, we only consider the highest section scores submitted from multiple SAT test dates. We also superscore the ACT. The admissions committee will consider the highest submitted Composite score and subsection scores, and will also recalculate a new Composite score from subsection scores earned on different test dates.
If the majority of your education has been taught in a non-English language curriculum, we encourage you to provide results from the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test.
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.
*Note: When you self-report test scores on the Common Application, you will not see your scores in the PDF preview regardless of your test-optional selection. We will have access to these scores if you are choosing to have them considered.
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.
- For applicants who choose to submit testing for review, enrolling students are required to submit official standardized test scores upon matriculation. Admissions will verify scores for all enrolling students. Any discrepancy between self-reported and official scores may jeopardize a student’s enrollment at Swarthmore.
- For applicants who choose not to submit testing to us under our test-optional policy, we ask that enrolling students submit standardized test scores upon matriculation, if you have taken the ACT or SAT. This is not a requirement and will only be used for research and course placement purposes. Enrolling students will not be penalized, regardless of the score submitted.