Standardized Testing Policy

Standardized testing (either SAT or ACT) is an optional part of our admission application for both first-year applicants and transfer applicants and constitutes only one element of our comprehensive and holistic application review process. Recognizing that standardized test scores cannot fully capture the many facets of our diverse applicants, we carefully consider all components of an application in an effort to derive the most accurate and contextual depiction of an applicant as a student and a person.

Standardized Testing Options

SAT or ACT Testing: In addition to the required elements of a first-year application or a transfer application, applicants may elect to submit test scores (either self-reported or official) from the SAT and/or the ACT. For both first-year and transfer applicants - domestic and international - the submission of SAT or ACT scores is optional. SAT Subject Tests will not be considered in the evaluation of any applicant.

Multiple Test Results: ForĀ  applicants who have taken the SAT and/or the ACT more than once, we will consider the highest score achieved in each section. For official score reporting, applicants are free to use the SAT Score Choice option and the ACT option.

English Language Testing: International applicants may be required to submit results for English language proficiency testing (TOEFL or IELTS). Amherst does not superscore results for English proficiency tests. Nor do we accept self-reported test scores for TOEFL or IELTS; only official score reports are permitted for these tests. Additional information on our English proficiency testing policy and the TOEFL and IELTS tests accepted by Amherst is available on our International Applicants page.

Testing Deadlines: Applicants who elect to submit standardized test scores for consideration during the admission process should be sure that test scores reach us by the appropriate application deadline (either ED or RD).

Submission of Self-Reported and Official Standardized Test Scores

Applicants who choose to have their standardized test scores considered in the evaluation of their application may submit either self-reported or officially reported SAT and/or ACT scores at the application review and admission decision stages of the admission process.

We recognize that the added expense of official score reporting fees can pose a financial barrier for many students, constraining the ability to apply to their schools of interest and, in turn, limiting college options and opportunities for higher education. Consistent with Amherst's long-standing commitment to access and affordability, we accept self-reported SAT and ACT test scores from applicants. Only those applicants who choose to have their scores considered under our test-optional admission policy and who are subsequently admitted and decide to attend Amherst will be required to submit official score reports for self-reported scores previously submitted at the application stage.

Self-reported test scores may be submitted (and updated) in any of the following ways:

  • Enter scores in the testing section of the Common Application or the QuestBridge Application.
  • Enter scores into the student's online Application Status Portal (available after submission of an application for admission to Amherst).
  • Submit screen shots or scanned copies of score reports via email to

Official test scores may be submitted in any of the following ways:

  • Sent directly from the testing agency (SAT or ACT). Amherst's testing codes are 3003 (SAT) and 1774 (ACT).
  • Sent directly by the student's high school counselor via email ( or fax (413-542-2040).
  • Sent directly by the student's high school counselor via notation on official transcript.

Verification of Self-Reported Standardized Test Scores

Students who elect to submit self-reported scores for consideration under our test-optional admission policy and who are subsequently admitted and decide to matriculate as first-year students at Amherst will be required to submit official test scores (through any of the methods listed above) soon after confirming an intent to enroll at Amherst. Using the official scores, we will verify the accuracy of any self-reported scores used during the admission process. Any discrepancy between official and self-reported scores may result in the withdrawal of our offer of admission.

Test-Optional Pilot

Amherst College has adopted a four-year test-optional pilot program for SAT/ACT testing for first-year applicants to the Classes of 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028 (students entering Amherst in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024). The test-optional policy applies to all applicants - domestic and international - applying for first-year admission during the duration of the pilot program. At their own discretion, students may choose to submit SAT/ACT test scores for consideration in the application review process. We will be evaluating the test-optional policy and will set testing policy for the Class of 2029 (entering in 2025) following additional review.


Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us by email at or by phone at 413-542-2328, if you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of the application and admission process at Amherst.