Optional Testing

Bates has been a national leader in the test-optional movement for three decades. In October 1984, the faculty voted to make standardized testing, such as the SAT I, SAT II, and the ACT, optional for all students applying to Bates. For the Class of 2020, 48.5 percent of applicants submitted some form of standardized testing. The following are average scores for students who submitted tests:

  • SAT Critical Reading 681
  • SAT Math 684
  • SAT Writing 678
  • ACT Composite 31

Students who speak English as a second language are required to submit their scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a parallel form of testing (this includes non-native English speakers who attend English-medium schools or live in the U.S.). Learn more about our alternatives to the TOEFL >

Learn more about why we are test optional through the Bates-conducted study, Defining Promise: Twenty-five Years of Optional Testing at Bates College, 1984-2009.
Slides of a presentation on this study are also available to view.