Testing Policies

Test-Optional Policy

Vanderbilt University will not require scores from the ACT or SAT exams for students applying to enter the university for fall 2023 or fall 2024. This applies to both first-year and transfer students and includes international and homeschool students. Proof of English proficiency will continue to be required for international students.

When applying to Vanderbilt, students will indicate on the application whether they wish to be considered with or without ACT or SAT scores. The applicant’s choice regarding ACT or SAT score submission will not advantage or disadvantage the application review. Vanderbilt will consider an applicant’s academic record, including rigor of coursework; ACT or SAT scores (if submitted); personal essay; letters of recommendation; the breadth and depth of extracurricular engagement; and other items submitted on a student’s behalf. If students self-report scores from AP exams or SAT Subject tests, these may be considered as part of the review process.

Applicants who expect to play on one of Vanderbilt’s NCAA Division I varsity teams must abide by NCAA and Southeastern Conference eligibility regulations regarding the ACT or SAT.

Self-Reported Testing

You may self-report test scores for the ACT or SAT on your Vanderbilt application.  ACT or SAT exam scores reported on the application will be considered for admission evaluation purposes. However, official score reports will be required for all enrolling students.

SAT and ACT Information

For students applying for fall 2023 and fall 2024 entry, ACT or SAT scores are optional.

  • If you choose to submit test scores, the Writing section of the ACT and the Essay section of the SAT (discontinued in 2021) are not required.
  • If you choose to submit test scores, you may self-report scores on your application; if you are offered admission and intend to enroll, an official ACT or SAT score report must be submitted directly from the testing agency.
  • View our dates and deadlines information for the preferred last dates to take the ACT or SAT for each decision plan.

SAT Subject Tests

  • While SAT Subject Tests were discontinued in 2021 and these scores are not required, Vanderbilt will accept Subject Test scores if you submit them. If scores are sent to Vanderbilt, they may be considered during the application review process.
  • For students who enroll at Vanderbilt, some SAT Subject Test scores can be used to meet language proficiency requirements in the College of Arts and Science, and to meet mathematics requirements for some majors in Peabody College.

Score Choice and Superscoring Policy

  • Vanderbilt will superscore both the ACT and the SAT. Superscoring is the process of taking a student's best section scores across all exam sittings to combine for the best overall score.
  • Because Vanderbilt superscores both the ACT and SAT, we encourage you to submit all of your scores if you choose to submit testing.
  • Only the highest section scores for either the ACT or the SAT will be considered as part of the admissions review process.
  • Each time ACT or SAT scores are submitted, the student's record is updated with the new high section scores.
  • Vanderbilt considers the highest ACT superscore or the highest SAT superscore.
  • If a student submits both ACT and SAT scores, Vanderbilt will consider the highest superscore from either the ACT or the SAT, whichever is best.

Testing Codes for Vanderbilt

  • ACT: 4036
  • Educational Testing Service (ETS): 1871

Testing Information for International Applicants

ACT or SAT — For students applying for fall 2023 and fall 2024 entry, SAT or ACT scores are optional. These standardized university entrance examinations measure verbal and mathematic skills. Please visit either www.sat.org or www.act.org to register for these examinations. You can also contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or EducationUSA office for a list of testing centers, their locations, and exam schedule. SAT Subject Tests are optional. If official scores are sent to Vanderbilt, they may be considered during the application review process.

English language proficiency exams — The results of standardized English language proficiency examinations are used by the Admission Committee to better understand a student's English language ability, especially for non-native speakers. Because the SAT and ACT are written for U.S. domestic students, we understand that many international applicants do not score as well on the SAT Critical Reading test and a TOEFL iBT (including Home and Paper Editions), TOEFL Essentials, IELTS, PTE Academic, or Duolingo English Test score will enhance the strength of a student's application.

The English language proficiency examination requirement will be waived if a student has scored 33 or above on the SAT Reading Test, or above a 26 on the ACT English section.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Am I able to change my response if I submitted my application WITH test scores?

    No, you may not change your response after you submit your application.

  • Am I able to change my response if I submitted my application WITHOUT test scores?

    No, you may not change your response after you submit your application.

  • Can homeschooled applicants apply without submitting ACT or SAT scores?

    Yes, homeschooled applicants may apply without submitting SAT or ACT scores.

  • Can I self-report ACT or SAT scores? 

    Yes, applicants can self-report ACT or SAT scores. See our self-reporting testing policy.

  • Can international students apply without submitting ACT or SAT scores? 

    Yes, while international applicants may apply without submitting ACT or SAT scores, proof of English proficiency will be required.

  • Can recruited Division I athletes apply without submitting ACT or SAT scores?

    Applicants who expect to play on one of Vanderbilt’s NCAA Division I varsity teams must abide by NCAA and Southeastern Conference eligibility regulations.

  • If I choose not to submit scores from the ACT or SAT, how does this impact Vanderbilt’s merit scholarship process?

    All applicants who apply for merit-based scholarships by the December 1 deadline will be considered whether or not test scores are submitted.

  • Will the test-optional policy be continued for future admissions cycles?

    While there are currently no plans to extend this policy beyond the fall 2024 (class entering Vanderbilt in fall 2024) admissions cycle, we will provide updated information as it becomes available.