At Saint Joseph’s University, we offer undergraduate applicants the option to submit their test scores, meaning test score submission is not required to receive an admission decision!
Please keep in mind, you should ask every school you apply to what their test-optional policy is–if they have one–to make an informed decision about test score submission.
Since “test-optional” has a different meaning at every institution, let’s break down what it means at SJU specifically.
We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications.
When rendering an admission decision, admission counselors at SJU are not simply looking at the numbers on your application and filing them into “admit” or “deny” bins. Instead, we are evaluating the entire application.
Any piece of your application that has words on it matters. Yes, we read your essay. Yes, we read your letters of recommendation. Yes, we read the “additional information” section. Yes, we read it all.
We want to ensure that we are making an informed decision on our applicants as a whole, and that means diving deeper than the numbers. After all, you’re more than just a number.
Submitting test scores should strengthen your application, not hurt it.
When deciding whether or not to submit your test scores, take a look at your application as a whole. Will the submission of your test scores help or harm your application?
One of the best ways to discover this is by comparing your test scores in each subject area to your grades in that subject. Are your test scores reflective of your performance in the classroom? If the answer is yes, you may want to consider submitting test scores. If your answer is no, you may want to consider going test-optional.
You know yourself better than anyone else, so take some personal time to evaluate whether or not you are pleased with your standardized test results.
Take a look at the middle 50% of applicant data.
Each year, we take a snapshot of the very middle of our admitted students to contextualize their academic performance. Keep in mind, 25% of our admitted students scored above these ranges, and 25% of our admitted students scored below these ranges.
SAT: 1160-1310 (superscore)
ACT: 25-30 (composite)
If your test scores fall within or exceed these ranges, it may be in your best interest to submit your test scores, but please make sure that they are also on par with your academic performance. This data should not be the only deciding factor, but a piece of the whole puzzle in making your decision.
Get advice from your college/guidance counselors, teachers, and parents.
If you are still uncertain about whether you should or should not submit test scores, speak with a college counselor, teacher, or your parents. These individuals know what kind of test taker you are, so they may be able to weigh in with some informed advice.
Unfortunately, an admission counselor at SJU cannot advise you on whether to submit your scores or not. After all, we are the ones reading your application–we cannot make this decision for you!
Deciding whether to go test-optional or not may seem stressful, but hopefully, this blog post will help steer you in the right direction! If you have any questions about our test-optional policy, please do not hesitate to contact the SJU Office of Undergraduate Admission at admit@sju, or 610-660-1300. Good luck!
–Monica Miller, Admission Counselor