New SAT and Changes for Admissions Policy

The SAT was redesigned in 2016. We encourage all students and families to learn more about the new SAT by utilizing the extensive resources on the College Board website.


Does Cornell require the Optional Essay section on the new SAT?

No. Cornell University will not require students to submit the Optional Essay as part of the new SAT.

Does Cornell require the Writing section of the ACT for students applying for freshman admission?

Cornell University no longer requires the Writing section of the ACT for students applying for freshman admission.

If I took the old SAT previously and I will also take the redesigned SAT, which scores should I send to Cornell? Will Cornell create a “Superscore”?

Some students took the SAT before Spring 2016 and will also take the redesigned SAT. In those cases, students should send both scores to Cornell. Because the redesigned SAT is a different test than the current SAT, a numerical score on one test will not be equivalent to the same numerical score on the other. Cornell will not combine (superscore) area scores from the current and new SAT. 

Cornell University will allow admission candidates for Fall 2018 to submit both old and new SAT test results to meet admission testing requirements. Old and new SAT results will remain discrete and will not be combined and superscored. Only new SAT test results will be accepted starting with admission candidates for Fall 2019.

How do you recommend that I prepare for the SAT?

Cornell University encourages all students to utilize the College Board's personalized and free practice resources that are provided in partnership with Khan Academy.

How will Cornell use the scores, cross-test scores, and subscores from the new SAT?

Cornell has made no decision about the use of test scores, cross-test scores, and subscores.

I'm eligible for a fee waiver. Should I take the Optional Essay section of the new SAT?

Yes. Students who are eligible for an SAT fee waiver are strongly encouraged to take the Optional Essay section of the new SAT. While the writing portion of the new SAT is not required for Cornell, other institutions to which students apply may require the completion and submission of this section of the new SAT.