Admissions Testing Policy

No test scores? No problem! Oberlin College is test-optional, which means that applicants can choose whether or not to submit their SAT and/or ACT scores.

A student and professor discuss an assignment.
Photo credit: Matthew Lester

At Oberlin, test-optional truly means test-optional: the absence of scores will not count against a student’s application in any way. All applicants will receive full consideration for merit scholarships, regardless of whether or not they submit test scores.

Our holistic application review weighs a student’s four-year academic journey – including grades, strength of curriculum, and teacher recommendations – more heavily than the results of standardized tests. Our admissions decisions are never based on a single data point, such as a standardized test score.

Please note that international applicants will still be required to demonstrate English proficiency, as noted below.

Should I submit my test scores?

If you feel that your SAT and/or ACT scores help to present your academic ability in a positive light, we encourage you to submit them! Test scores can be a helpful indicator of a student’s academic achievement outside the context of their high school. 

If you are unable to take the SAT or ACT, or you think that your score doesn’t accurately reflect your academic ability, choosing to apply without test scores could be the right choice for you.

Your high school counselor is a great resource in deciding whether to report your scores.

How do I report my scores?

If you want your scores to be considered, you can self-report them when you fill out the application. You’ll only need to provide an official score report if you are admitted and decide to enroll at Oberlin.

Oberlin superscores both the SAT and ACT. This means that we use the highest subscores from each component of the test, even if taken on different dates, ensuring that applicants are evaluated with the highest overall score possible.

What if I change my mind?

If you previously sent ACT/SAT scores to Oberlin but have since changed your mind, let us know as soon as possible so we can remove the scores from your application.

If you didn’t submit scores with your application but later decide you would like them to be considered, please email us at college.admissions@oberlin.edu.

International Students

If English is not your native language, or your secondary school instruction is not in English, you will need to demonstrate English proficiency. Oberlin accepts official score reports from TOEFL (including iBT Home Edition), IELTS, or Duolingo’s English Test (DET)  to satisfy this requirement.

If these required language exams are not available to you, you can request a waiver by emailing international.admissions@oberlin.edu. However, be aware that applicants who provide one of these test scores will be considered more favorably.


See Also

Conservatory Admissions: Academic Requirements and Testing