Revised Testing Policy for 2020-2021 Application Cycle

Due to ongoing standardized testing disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbia is adopting a one year test-optional policy for first-year applicants to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering for the fall of 2021.   

If students have completed testing and can submit SAT or ACT results, we encourage them to do so as we believe this information can be a valuable addition in our review process. However, testing is no longer a required component for the first-year 2020-2021 application cycle, and students who are unable or choose not to submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage. We will continue to evaluate all submitted information within the holistic and contextual review process that considers individual circumstances shaping each applicant's journey. The rigor of a student’s curriculum, their academic achievement, and their demonstrated intellectual curiosity will remain central to our review.  

For students able or who choose to submit testing, Columbia's testing policies remain the same. We accept SAT and ACT scores through November test dates for Early Decision applicants and scores through January for Regular Decision applicants. We will continue to accept self-reported scores and only require official testing for enrolling students. If you were able to take an exam more than once, you will be evaluated on the highest score you received in any individual section of that test. Please note that we are aware that many students, if able to test, could only take a test once. As noted above, that context will be taken into consideration should scores be provided. Standardized testing is only one component in a highly contextualized, multi-layered holistic review.

Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), SAT Subject Test and other proficiency exam scores are not required, but we will accept your results if you choose to submit them. International applicants and non-native speakers should refer to our English proficiency testing and international applicant requirements, which remain. Transfer applicants will still be expected to submit results from tests taken in past years. Transfers who have not previously tested will have this requirement waived for the 2020-2021 application cycle.