Information on the Redesigned SAT for First-Year Applicants

In March 2016 the College Board launched a redesigned version of the SAT. This change naturally raises questions from students, parents, and counselors about the effect of the new SAT on the application and admission process. We hope the information provided here will help to clear up any confusion.

Does Amherst require standardized testing as part of the application process?

Amherst requires the submission of standardized testing results for first-year applicants; for transfer applicants, standardized testing is optional.

In addition to the other required elements of a first-year application, Amherst requires first-year applicants to submit either:

  • the ACT (Writing Test recommended)
  • the SAT  (Essay Section recommended)

(We recommend that applicants taking the redesigned SAT also take the optional SAT Essay component, just as we recommend that students taking the ACT also take the ACT Writing Test.)

Will Amherst accept SAT scores from both the old and the new SAT versions?

Amherst will accept test score results from the pre-March 2016 SAT and/or the redesigned SAT, but please note that for applicants submitting both, the results will not be superscored directly across the two versions. For each student, we will, however, continue to superscore any score results from pre-March 2016 SAT administrations and to superscore any score results from later administrations of the redesigned SAT and we will then compare the student's pre-March 2016 SAT superscore with the student's redesigned SAT superscore to determine which gives the highest result for the applicant. In comparing pre-March 2016 SAT scores with redesigned SAT scores, we will use the official College Board "concordance tables" that specifiy how scores from the pre-March SAT compare to scores from the redesigned SAT.

For more information on additional application requirements for first-year admission to Amherst College, please see our First-Year Applicants page.

For more information on the redesigned SAT, consult the College Board website for FAQs and a comparison of the current SAT and the redesigned SAT.