Required Standardized Testing

Required Tests

Standardized tests are required for admission according to the guidelines below; your test scores must be submitted directly to Columbia by the testing agency. You may choose to take either the SAT or the ACT. 

Please review the policies listed below carefully, as they have been updated to reflect changes in institutional policy, as well as the College Board’s redesigned SAT, which launched in spring 2016.


The redesigned SAT consists of two sections, each graded on an 800-point scale and the writing portion will be separate. Columbia does not require the optional writing section. You will be evaluated on the highest score you receive in any individual section. If you took the test more than once, you will be evaluated on the highest score you received in any individual section.

If you are applying for Fall 2018 admission, results from the redesigned SAT and/or the previous SAT will be accepted. When evaluating applicants, we will consider only the highest testing results reported from one version of the test, not across both versions.


You may alternatively take the ACT, graded on a 36-point scale; if you take the test more than once, you will be evaluated on the highest score you received in any individual section. Columbia does not require the writing test offered by the ACT.

SAT Subject Tests

The SAT Subject Test scores are not required, but Columbia will accept scores from the exams if you choose to submit them. You will not be at a disadvantage should you choose not to take the tests or submit the scores to Columbia.

Non-native English Speakers

Non-native speakers should refer to our English proficiency testing requirements. Please note that this testing is in addition to the SAT or ACT, not a substitute for it.

Submitting Official Scores

You must register with the appropriate testing agency (the College Board or the ACT) well in advance of your desired test date. You may take standardized tests as late as November for Early Decision and January for Regular Decision.

It is critical that you use the correct registration code to ensure delivery of scores to our office. The appropriate SAT code is 2116, and the appropriate ACT code is 2717. Please note that scores reported to Columbia’s School of General Studies (2095), Columbia’s School of Professional Studies (2154) or Barnard College (2038) will not reach our office and will not be considered for evaluation. If you sent your score using an incorrect code, you must contact the testing agency to resend your scores.

Please do not utilize the “rush” service in sending your test scores to Columbia; doing so does not speed up the processing of your test scores. We obtain all testing via a secure web site to which we are provided access by the appropriate testing agency.

Columbia reserves the right to not evaluate a candidate whose scores are not reported directly by the testing agency. We are unable to guarantee that any scores from tests taken after the deadlines will arrive in time to be reviewed.

Columbia’s Testing Policy for Score Choice

Applicants may select the Score Choice option for the SAT or choose to submit specific ACT composite scores. However, it should be noted that the application review process for Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science is rooted in the belief that students are dynamic, multi-faceted individuals who cannot be defined by any single factor to determine their suitability for admission. When evaluating applicants, we consider the highest testing results reported from individual sections of the SAT and the ACT ("superscoring"). We are always seeking to give students the greatest opportunity to showcase their academic talents and hoping to make the testing experience as stress-free as possible. We encourage applicants to take these examinations no more than twice, but we do not penalize applicants for exceeding that recommendation.

Advice from Students

When you are visiting a school, try to talk to as many current students as possible. Are they people you could see yourself being friends with? Can you see someone you would like to be in an upperclassman? ”

Mary K.

With good time management, you can do most everything you hope to do in college. Make each and every moment count!”