Standardized Testing Policy
Barnard's admission process is holistic and contextual. Standardized test scores are considered in conjunction with the rest of the application and in context of the applicant's background. For this reason, test scores are only one component of our application review and they are never used as a sole criterion for selection.
SAT/ACT Test-Optional Policy For 2020-2023 Admissions Cycles
Barnard recognizes the challenges that students are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in response, Barnard has adopted an SAT and ACT test-optional admission policy for students applying for the 2020-2023 first-year and transfer admissions cycles. This decision was made in consultation with the President and the Board of Trustees and is not intended as an admissions policy shift, but rather as a temporary measure driven by the current circumstances. Students may apply without submitting standardized test scores from the SAT or ACT exam and no other materials will be requested in lieu of test scores. Applicants may still submit self-reported SAT or ACT scores for consideration if they are able to do so. As in previous years, the College does not evaluate SAT Subject Tests. Please know that Barnard reviews all applications holistically. We consider each applicant in the context of her school, community, and individual story. Barnard seeks students who are intellectually motivated, community-minded, and excited for academic exploration within the liberal arts. For more information, please view our Temporary Test-Optional FAQ page.
First-Year and Transfer Applicants
All applicants are required to submit results from either the SAT or the ACT, unless exempted by our test-optional policy as described above.
Barnard neither requires nor reviews the essay portion of the SAT or the writing portion of the ACT. SAT Subject Tests are also neither required nor reviewed.
Barnard requires students to display English proficiency. Students whose primary language is not English or who do not study in a school where English is the primary language of instruction may be required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Duolingo English Test. Applicants are eligible to have the English Language Proficiency Requirement waived if they:
- Identify English as one of their first languages
- Have attended a school in which the primary language of instruction is English for the duration of their secondary school career
- Are enrolled in or have completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program or A Level curriculum taught in English
- Earned one or more of the following subsection scores:
- 700 or higher on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing section of the redesigned SAT (beginning in March 2016)
- 29 or higher on the English or Reading sections of the ACT.
If you meet one or more of the criteria above, you have fulfilled Barnard's English Language Proficiency Requirement, but will still be required to submit either SAT or ACT scores; however, please note that if you are a first-year or transfer student applying for the 2020-2023 admissions cycles, you may choose to not submit SAT/ACT scores under our temporary test-optional policy (see above). After you apply, please email email@example.com to have your English Language Proficiency Requirement waived if it has not already been waived in your Applicant Status Portal.
If you do not meet the criteria above, you will be required to submit official TOEFL, IELTS, or DET scores in addition to either SAT or ACT scores. This TOEFL/IELTS/DET requirement is not affected by our temporary test-optional policy. The most competitive candidates for admission generally receive an IELTS score of 7 or higher, a TOEFL score of 100 or higher, or a DET score of 120 or higher.
Self-Reported Standardized Testing
All first-year applicants may submit their self-reported test scores from the SAT or ACT to Barnard during the application process. Students may disclose their self-reported testing via the Common Application or Coalition Application. If you need to update your scores after you apply, please submit your scores through the self-reported testing form within your Applicant Status Portal.
Only admitted first-year students who choose to enroll will be required to submit official scores. Discrepancies between self-reported and official scores may jeopardize a student’s place in the class.
All transfer applicants are still required to send official test scores.
International students required to submit English Language Proficiency exams must submit official scores via the testing agencies.
Barnard will also accept score reports sent by counselors as official testing. Counselors may send reports via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at 212-280-8797.
Superscoring and Score Choice
Barnard superscores both the SAT and ACT. For the SAT, we will use the highest score in each section of each exam sitting. For the ACT, we will evaluate your highest scores in each individual section of the ACT (if taken multiple times) and combine them to recalculate your highest combined ACT composite score. We recommend that you send us your entire testing history so we are able to evaluate your scores in context. We will use only your highest testing scores for our application review. If you are self-reporting your ACT test scores, please do not calculate a superscored ACT composite score yourself. We will calculate your superscore for you.
Standardized Testing Deadlines
Barnard strongly recommends that students take all standardized testing prior to the application deadline. This will ensure that scores reach us in time to review your application for admission. Exams taken after the deadline date will be considered if they arrive in time for our review. Early Decision students taking exams after the application deadline in November or Regular Decision students taking exams in January may self-report their scores by submitting them through the self-reported testing form within their application portal.