Standardized Testing Policy

Standardized testing (either SAT or ACT) is a required part of our application process for first-year applicants (and optional for transfer applicants), but 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.

Required Standardized Testing

Amherst requires the submission of self-reported or official test scores for all first-year applicants; for transfer applicants, submission of standardized testing scores is optional.

In addition to the other necessary elements of a first-year application, Amherst requires first-year applicants to submit self-reported or official test scores from either:

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

Multiple Test Results: Applicants who have taken the SAT and/or the ACT more than once are encouraged to submit all test results, as we will evaluate applications based on the most advantageous combination of scores (superscore) for either the SAT or ACT, regardless of test date. If you have taken both the SAT and the ACT, you may choose to enter one or both sets of scores; in considering SAT and ACT scores for the same applicant, we use the official concordence tables to allow an accurate comparison of the SAT and ACT scores.

English Language Testing: International applicants may also be required to submit results for English language proficiency testing (TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB), unless eligible for a waiver. Please note that Amherst does not superscore results for English proficiency tests. Additional information on our English proficiency testing policy is on our International Applicants page.

Testing Deadlines: Applicants should schedule standardized testing so that results can be submitted to us by the appropriate application deadline (either ED or RD). In particular, RD applicants should be aware that the results of January testing may not be available in time to be considered.

Submission of Self-Reported and Official Standardized Test Scores

Applicants may submit either self-reported or officially reported standardized test scores.

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 test scores from applicants. Only those applicants who are admitted and decide to attend Amherst will be required to submit official score reports.

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, the Coalition 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 are admitted on the basis of self-reported test scores and subsequently 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 on the official score report, 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.


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.