Standardized Testing Policy

Cornell University Extends Test-Optional and Score-Free Undergraduate Admissions Testing Policies for Fall 2024 First-Year Applicants

Since April 2020, Cornell has not required first-year applicants to submit SAT or ACT exam scores. Three of Cornell’s undergraduate colleges—Agriculture and Life Sciences; Architecture, Art, and Planning; and the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business—do not use test scores as part of their admission process. Applicants to Cornell’s five other undergraduate colleges—Arts & Sciences; Engineering; Human Ecology; Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy; and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations—have the option to submit SAT and/or ACT scores, although they are not required.

In extending the existing policies to the high school graduating class of 2023 and 2024, Cornell recognizes the continuing risks of COVID-19 transmission during in-person testing around the world. At the same time, the university is entering a two-year period of deliberate experimental review in order to guide admission testing policy requirements beyond these two years. We will engage both in self-study about the role of testing in promoting access and success at Cornell and systematically review admission assessments in partnership with other universities and higher education organizations.

Recruited student-athletes must follow Ivy League guidelines. The Ivy League has suspended testing requirements for prospective student-athlete applicants for fall 2023. The League has not yet determined requirements for student-athlete applicants beyond 2023. Cornell will continue to follow the guidance and policies of the Ivy League regarding testing requirements for applicants who expect to participate in a varsity sport.

Colleges and Schools at Cornell that are score-free

Cornell colleges that will not use test scores in the admission process:

For more specific information about testing requirements, please visit the college-specific webpages.

Colleges and Schools at Cornell that are test-optional

Cornell colleges and schools that will include a review of test results if they are submitted in the application review process:

For more specific information about testing requirements, please visit the college-specific webpages. 

SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject Tests (discontinued in 2021) are not required or expected for admission to Cornell University.

Additional Information About Standardized Testing

  • Cornell University does not require the essay section on the SAT or ACT. (The essay portion of the SAT was discontinued in 2021.)
  • Applicant results will be superscored to combine your highest subsections.
  • If you plan to apply to one of our test-optional colleges/schools, you are welcome to submit unofficial test scores to Cornell University. Should you be admitted to and enrolled at Cornell, we will require official test scores sent from the testing agency at that time.
  • For all applicants to current and future terms: Please do not feel you need to take exams unless you are able to take the exam locally near your home and you feel safe in doing so. As a reminder, we will evaluate your application without standardized testing. For your health and safety, please always adhere to your local, state, and national COVID-19 guidelines.