Testing Policies

Test-Optional Policy

To continue support for prospective students and their families during the ongoing global pandemic, Vanderbilt University will not require scores from the SAT or ACT exams for students applying to enter the university in the fall of 2022. 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 test scores. The applicant’s choice regarding test score submission will not advantage or disadvantage the application review. Vanderbilt will consider an applicant’s academic record, including rigor of coursework; SAT or ACT 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 SAT and ACT.

Self-Reported Testing

Beginning with students who applied to enter fall 2021, Vanderbilt implemented a self-reporting testing policy. 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 2022 entry, SAT or ACT scores are optional.

  • If you choose to submit test scores, the Writing section of the ACT and the Essay section of the SAT 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.

SAT Subject Tests

  • SAT Subject Tests are optional. If official 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 strongly encourages students to submit scores each time they take either the SAT or the ACT.
  • Vanderbilt will superscore both the SAT and the ACT.
  • Only the highest section scores for either the SAT or the ACT will be considered as part of the admissions review process.
  • Each time SAT or ACT scores are submitted, the student's record is updated with the new high section scores.
  • Vanderbilt considers the highest SAT superscore or the highest ACT superscore.
  • If a student submits both SAT and ACT scores, Vanderbilt will consider the highest superscore from either the SAT or the ACT, whichever is best.

Testing Codes for Vanderbilt

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

Testing Information for International Applicants

SAT or ACT — For students applying for fall 2022 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.

TOEFL,  IELTS, PTE Academic, or Duolingo English Test — 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, 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.