Our Test Optional Policy

At Goucher, we want to get to know you, your passions, your interests, and how you plan to contribute to our community. As a result, we made the submission of SAT/ACT scores optional in 2006. This means applicants are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores to be considered for admission or to be considered for a merit scholarship. (Please note: if a student is admitted and chooses to enroll, test scores need to be submitted for research and advising purposes.)

Why is Goucher test optional?

A lot of research has been done on the effectiveness of standardized testing as a predictor of student success in college. Similar to how minor league baseball performance doesn't always translate into the major league, SAT and ACT scores offer only one data point into how well a student will do in college. In fact, students who choose not to submit test scores perform just as well, retain, and graduate at the same levels as students who do submit test scores. 

We've found that at Goucher, student engagement is largest predicator of student success on campus. In addition to standardized tests not being the best predictor of success, we also acknowledge there are well documented accounts of the inherit bias and disadvantage for students from underserved backgrounds.  Thus, we leave it up to you to choose if you would like your scores to be considered as part of your application. 

On average, 75% of applicants choose to have their scores considered as part of their application. To aid you in your decision of whether or not to take advantage of Goucher's test optional policy we have developed the below frequently asked questions: 

Should I submit my scores?

SAT Middle 50% ACT Middle 50%
Critical Reading 530-660 Composite Score 23-29
Math 510-630

Each year, we report the score ranges (SAT and ACT) for the middle 50% of the incoming first-year class (see above). This means that the middle 50% of students had scores that fell in this range and that 25% of students had scores above and 25% of students had scores below that range. 

The middle 50% ranges are not meant to be cutoffs or requirements. That said, we make the following recommendations on whether you should or should not include your SAT/ACT scores with your application.

  • If your scores fall within the middle 50% or above, your scores would likely not have an adverse impact during the review of your application.   

  • If you have scores that fall below the middle 50%, there may be an adverse impact to the review of your application. (Remember: Only 25% of admitted students had scores within this range)

Do you super score standardized test scores?

  • SAT: Goucher will super score SAT exam scores for both the "old" SAT and redesigned SAT by converting "old" SAT scores, using the concordance chart provided by the College Board, to the redesigned SAT scores to give students their highest overall score.

  • ACT: Goucher does not super score the ACT; we simply take the highest composite score from all exams taken.

Do I have to do the writing section?

  • SAT: For students taking the "old" SAT we do require that scores from the writing section be included. For students who are taking the redesigned SAT, we do not require the writing section.

  • ACT: For students entering in fall 2016, we require the ACT writing section. Beginning with students entering in fall 2017, we will no longer require the optional writing test for the ACT. 

Where do I indicate my preference to include or not include test scores?

  • Common Application: On the Member Page of the application you are asked, "Would you like your test scores to be considered in the evaluation of your application?" If you would like to take advantage of our test optional policy, select "No." If you would like to have your scores considered along with the other application materials, select "Yes." If you choose to have your scores considered, your application will be incomplete and unable to be reviewed until they have been submitted.

  • Goucher Video Application: The GVA does not have an option to submit test scores, so applicants are automatically enrolled in our test optional option.

Although you may elect not to submit scores as part of the process that determines admission, please be aware all admitted applicants who enroll must furnish test scores for research and advising purposes.


Policy on Redesigned SAT

We will accept scores from both the current version of the SAT and the redesigned SAT for fall 2016 and fall 2017 applicants. Starting with fall 2018 we will expect applicants submitting the SAT to present a redesigned SAT score. We will not require the essay portion of the redesigned SAT.