ACT/SAT Test Optional Information

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University have adopted a test-optional admission policy beginning with the Fall 2021 term.

If applicants have strong grades and have taken challenging courses to prepare for college but feel their ACT/SAT scores aren't reflective of their academic ability, they can choose whether or not to have test scores considered as part of their application for admission.

How to apply test-optional

In order to remove the typically required item of “test score” from the application checklist, applicants should indicate they will be applying through our test-optional process on the  Common Application  or the CSB/SJU Get INspired application.


  • Test scores are required from all applicants unless they select "No" on the "Should CSB/SJU consider your ACT or SAT scores when evaluating your application for admission?" question on the application.
  • If applicants select this option, test scores will not be used (even if submitted) for admission consideration.

Why did CSB/SJU decide to adopt a test-optional admission policy?

We realize the results of a standardized test don't give us the full picture of a student's future potential. Studies have shown that a more accurate measure of whether or not a student will be successful is by seeing the results of what they do on a daily basis. An applicant's high school transcript shows us these results, not the test score achieved on one particular day.

Also, with the onset of COVID-19, we know many ACT and SAT test dates were cancelled. We don't want a lack of test scores to deter anyone from applying for admission, and a transcript will give us plenty of information to determine an applicant's ability to succeed in our academic environment.

Who should not report their test scores?

Students who do not feel their test scores accurately reflect their academic potential will have the choice of whether or not to submit their scores. As a result, those with strong college potential will continue to be accepted and awarded scholarships based on other application components such as their high school transcript and extracurricular involvement.

How do we evaluate students who do not submit standardized test scores?

We will review all other required materials including official high school transcripts. We will closely evaluate applicant's high school work: curriculum, trends in grades and how they have challenged themselves. We will also evaluate high school involvement: extracurricular activities, leadership and community engagement.

Will I be at a disadvantage if I decide not to submit standardized test scores?

No. There will be no negative impact on applications without test scores, and applicants will still be considered for our academic achievement scholarships.

Who is required to submit test scores?

  • Students who have been home-schooled or attended non-grade-based schools.
  • International students who need to demonstrate English language proficiency will need to submit ACT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS, DET or PTE Academics.
  • Students interested in being considered for the Nursing Early Admission Program.

Does this mean that CSB/SJU are lowering their admission standards?

Definitely not! The strength of a student's high school transcript, which includes grade point average and level of rigor taken to prepare for college, has always been our main focus when determining whether or not applicants can be successful at CSB/SJU. Adopting a test-optional policy reaffirms that we believe it's the course choices and the work done on a daily basis that best determine how successful applicants will be at CSB/SJU. Test scores have always played a minor role in our holistic application reveiw. 

Why would a student submit standardized test scores if they don’t have to?

For some students, their test scores more accurately reflect their academic abilities and might even give a more complete picture of achievement and potential.

Will I be eligible for merit scholarships if I apply test-optional?

Yes, all applicants are eligible for merit awards. 

Can I still send my test scores to CSB/SJU?

If you want to send us your scores, you will need to fill in our school code when registering for the ACT/SAT tests.

ACT School Codes:

* CSB/SJU do not require the writing portion of the ACT.

SAT School Codes:

Will CSB/SJU accept self-reported ACT/SAT scores?

CSB/SJU can factor ACT or SAT test scores into both our admission and scholarship decisions. We use these scores as part of our holistic application review. Applicants may self-report test scores when applying to CSB/SJU, either by reporting them on the Common Application, or sending a copy of test scores via email ( [email protected]), or by uploading them through our application portal. When self-reporting, please include subscores and testing date.

CSB/SJU will superscore your ACT/SAT.

Superscoring means that we will combine applicant's best subject scores from multiple test dates to calculate the composite score. For example, perhaps an applicant took the ACT three times. Maybe the best math subscore came from the first test, the best reading subscore came from the second test and the best science subscore from the third test. Send us the results of each test and we will superscore them.

For more information about test-optional admission policies and for a list of other colleges and universities who give students options with standardized testing and admission, visit