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 predictor 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 to give students their highest overall score.

  • ACT: Goucher will super score the ACT to give students their highest overall composite score.

Do I have to do the writing section?

  • SAT: No, we do not require the writing section.

  • ACT: No, we do not require the writing section.

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 do not want your scores considered along the other application materials, select "No."
    • If you do want your scores considered along with the other application materials, select "Yes." If you select this option, your application will be incomplete and unable to be reviewed until they are received.

  • 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 Self-Reported Test Scores

Goucher allows students to submit screenshots or PDF score reports downloaded from the College Board or ACT website. If submitting a screenshot, it must include your name, test date, and all score values. Test scores can be uploaded directly into the Admissions & Financial Aid Status Portal to which you will be granted access after you submit your application. 

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to demonstrate language proficiency with recommended test scores of TOEFL (80ibt), IELTS (6.5), or Duolingo (105).

Students who have received a diploma or certificate from a secondary/high school where English is the primary language of instruction are exempted from this requirement.