First-Year Applicants

In response to COVID-19

In a typical year, Stanford requires just one exam—either the ACT or the SAT. The Writing/Essay section is not required. In light of challenges related to COVID-19, Stanford is test optional for the 2022–23 application cycle. The information on this page is for a typical year when an ACT or SAT score is required. Please visit our COVID-19 updates for more details.

Standardized Testing

Standardized testing is one of the application requirements that can highlight academic preparedness.

There are no minimum test scores required to be admitted to Stanford, and there is no score that guarantees admission. At Stanford, we review applications holistically, meaning every component of the application is valuable to us as we get to know each student.

Required testing:

  • ACT or SAT (Writing/Essay not required)
  • We will review applications from all students using either self-reported or official scores. If you would like to have official scores sent, you may use the College Board’s Score Choice option or the equivalent offered by the ACT.
  • If you are offered admission and choose to enroll, official scores will be required. In order for test scores to be considered official, they must be sent directly from the College Board or the ACT.*

*Please note: Stanford reserves the right to revoke an offer of admission if an applicant's self-reported test scores do not align with those in the official score report.

Test Codes

  • SAT/PROFILE/TOEFL Code number: 4704
  • ACT Code number: 0434

Frequently Asked Questions

Last Acceptable ACT Test Date:

September (Restrictive Early Action) | December (Regular Decision)

Last Acceptable SAT Test Date:

October (Restrictive Early Action) | December (Regular Decision)

We recommend students take the ACT or SAT well in advance of application deadlines. It is unlikely that scores from tests taken after the deadlines will arrive in time for review. We cannot delay the review of an application in anticipation of scores that will arrive after the deadline nor can we guarantee that late scores will be reviewed.

  • We recommend that you simply self-report your highest scores in the testing section of the application. You can also have official scores sent to Stanford, but this is not required for us to review your application. If you would like to have official scores sent, it is fine to use the College Board’s Score Choice option or the equivalent offered by the ACT.

  • If your most recent test results arrive after you submit your application, you can self-report these scores by logging in to your Stanford portal and filling out the Self-Report Test Scores form.

We want you to have the best test representation possible, so we will review your results according to the following rubric:

  • For the ACT, we will review all subscores and focus on the highest Composite from all sittings.

  • For the SAT, we will superscore, focusing on the highest individual Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math scores from all test sittings.

  • For the SAT, you may have taken a sitting with the essay and a separate sitting without the essay. We will superscore your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math scores across these two versions of the exam.

Many students ask about test substitutions, and while we do not accept alternate exam scores in lieu of either the ACT or the SAT, we do provide guidelines for testing exemptions if no sittings of these tests are offered in your country.

No; the College Board discontinued SAT Subject Tests in June 2021. If you took a subject test prior to this time, you are welcome to self-report your results in your application. If you have taken a subject test more than once, you may report your highest score.

Similarly, if you have taken Advanced Placement exams, you are welcome to self-report your scores in the application.

Though we do not require the writing/essay section of the ACT or SAT, if you took the exam with writing/essay, we request that you be honest and transparent and report your score as required by the application and as a section integral to the sitting of the exam you took. You challenged yourself by taking the writing/essay section, and we will recognize and honor this effort, while our consideration will be of your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math scores.

Our overall review is holistic, meaning we take into consideration the many pieces in your application including your transcript; the letters of recommendation written on your behalf; your extracurricular involvement and work and family responsibilities; and your essays. Each piece of the application is one factor among many that contribute to the whole of your candidacy. We want to reassure you of the comprehensive nature of our review and our understanding of the application and its reporting structure.

Updated on August 4, 2022 9:09 AM