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Test-Optional FAQ

Why is William & Mary test-optional?

Our admission review process is based on a comprehensive, holistic approach that considers multiple factors in making decisions. A test-optional policy provides students with additional ownership in the process by allowing them to decide whether or not they wish for SAT/ACT scores to be included as part of their application review. We know that for many students, they will still want their standardized test scores used in the review, and we will continue to include accordingly.

However, we realize that for some students, they would prefer to have their admission review based on the other pieces of an application without including SAT/ACT scores—an option we now confidently offer. Additionally, our hope is that this will encourage those students who may have been hesitant to apply previously out of concern over the importance of SAT/ACT scores to be more confident in knowing their application can be fully reviewed without these scores.

How do I know if I should apply test-optional?

If you are a student who has performed strongly in a challenging high school curriculum but you feel your test scores do not properly reflect your academic abilities or if you have not had the chance to take the SAT/ACT, you may choose not to submit them.

If you have had the opportunity to take an SAT/ACT and feel that your scores are a strong reflection of your academic abilities, then you should feel comfortable submitting your results.

How does a student apply test-optional?

The William & Mary section of the Common App will ask if you are planning to apply test optional. Should you select that option any self-reported testing you provided in your application will be suppressed as will any previous testing you may have provided us before you applied.

Is there a certain score level that students should use to decide whether or not to submit their scores?

Because our admission review process is based on a comprehensive, holistic approach that considers multiple factors in making decisions it is difficult to provide specific guidance without understanding the full context of each prospective applicant. However, the information below may provide some guidance as you decide on the best course of action:

For the class of 2026 our mid 50% enrolling student GPA on a standard weighted 4.0 scale was a 4.1-4.5.

For the class of 2026 our mid 50% SAT score was a 1380 – 1520.

For the class of 2026 our mid 50% ACT score was a 32-34.

These ranges are inclusive of in-state and out-of-state enrolled students, but given the more competitive nature of our out-of-state pool our out of state applicant group usually leans toward the higher end of our indicated ranges. 

Note: 34% of the Class of 2026 applied test-optional.

Are SAT/ACT scores required to be considered for merit programs?

All applicants are considered for our various merit programs regardless of whether test scores are submitted or not.

Are there any groups that will still need to submit SAT/ACT scores?

No particular group is required to submit test scores. However, students who may be from a school with written evaluations in place of grades, or students from homeschool environments who have not taken any—or very few—Advanced Placement or dual-enrollment college courses would likely benefit from providing test scores. This may include any SAT/ACT scores, Advanced Placement exam scores or a combination of the above.

International students also have the option whether or not to submit SAT/ACT scores. However, they are strongly encouraged to submit an ACT or SAT if other external test results (and/or predicted results) for exams such as IB/AP/A levels aren’t available. Additionally, if English is not your native language, and if your schooling during the past five years or more has been in a language other than English, the university urges you to take either the TOEFL or IELTS exams to demonstrate English language proficiency.

What if my test scores are on my transcript?

If you are considering applying test-optional be sure to check with your guidance counselor to see if removing test scores from your transcript is an option. If not, we will still read your application as though test scores had not been provided.