Test Optional Policy

Beginning with the fall 2017 entering class, SAT and ACT scores are an optional component of the admission evaluation process for first-year applicants. This change was the result of a thorough two-year-long review of Willamette’s admission process by the Faculty Admission Committee. It found that success in an academically rigorous college preparatory curriculum was a stronger predictor of success at Willamette than standardized test performance. Applicants may decide for themselves whether or not their test results accurately reflect their academic ability and potential. For candidates electing to submit them, test scores will be reviewed along with other indicators of academic ability.

Redesigned SAT

In March 2016, the Collegeboard began administering a redesigned SAT. Applicants who decide to include their SAT results as part of their applications will NOT be required to submit the optional written section (SAT Essay). Willamette will accept scores from tests administered before March 2016.


The Admission committee will "superscore" both the SAT and ACT. For students who submit scores from multiple SAT exams taken prior to March 2016, Willamette will accept the highest Math, Critical Reading and Writing scores. Willamette will also superscore the highest Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores from students who submit scores from the redesigned SAT after March 2016.

Willamette will NOT combine results from the Redesigned and pre-Redesign SAT exams to create a new total score.

Is standardized admission testing required for certain applicants?

No. International applicants will still be required to provide either the TOEFL or IELTS to test English proficiency, but they will have the option of applying without submitting SAT and/or ACT scores. Those choosing the test-optional process will be required to participate in a half hour video interview.

Note: As an evaluative measure, Willamette University will request that students applying under our test-optional policy submit any SAT or ACT scores after they have committed to attend. This information will be used to determine the effectiveness of the SAT for future enrollment application cycles.

Visit our frequently asked questions page for additional information, or contact the Office of Admission at bearcat@willamette.edu or (503) 370-6303.