Emory University Remains Test Optional for 2021-2022

>> Updated July 28, 2021

The global Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the availability of SAT and ACT testing for many students. For this reason, Emory University has extended its test optional policy for applicants who plan to enroll as first-year students in Fall 2022.  In addition, transfer applicants for Fall 2022 can also take advantage of this test optional policy.

For all applicants: Please do not feel you need to take exams unless you are able to take them near home and you feel safe. Remember that Emory University will evaluate your application without standardized testing. For your health and safety, please adhere to all CDC, local, state, and national guidelines.  


  • Submitting standardized test scores is completely optional.  
  • Students will not have to justify or disclose why they are not submitting scores.  
  • Students will not be disadvantaged in the review process if they do not submit scores.  
  • The timeline for changes to a student’s test optional selection aligns with their earliest decision plan, regardless of college within Emory University.


  • First-year students who apply to start school in Fall 2021 or Fall 2022.
  • Transfer students who apply to start school in Fall 2022. 
  • Both entry points of Emory University: Emory College of Arts and Sciences and Oxford College. 
  • All decision plans: Early Decision I, Early Decision II, Regular Decision, and Transfers. 
  • All first-year applicants under consideration in any of Emory’s Scholar Programs, including awards for full and partial scholarships.  


Please do not feel you need to take exams unless you are able to take them near home and you feel safe. For those who choose to take an exam: 

  • Emory will continue to accept self-reported or official test scores. 
  • Emory will continue to superscore the ACT and SAT. 
  • Scores will be reviewed in the context of the student’s whole application.  
  • We expect that standardized test scores will continue to demonstrate academic preparation for many students.  

Students who have taken an exam, or more than one exam, but prefer that we not look at those scores can make that choice when they apply.  


Understanding that test availability remains unpredictable:  

  • Students will not have to justify their reasons for not submitting test scores. 
  • Students will not be disadvantaged in the review process if they do not submit a standardized test score.  
  • Emory will continue to partner with applicants and their advocates to understand each applicant’s unique circumstances.  

While test scores have been part of Emory’s evaluation process in the past, scores represent only one component in our comprehensive review process. The admission committee also looks at an applicant’s personal statements, short answer questions, letters of recommendation, transcript, and, where available, feedback from the Alumni Interview Program.  

In the absence of test scores, we will lean more heavily on other application materials. We will continue to look for students who have:    

  • Taken challenging classes in the context of their school and done well in them.   
  • Pursued outside-of-class educational, volunteer, or work opportunities, whether in person or virtual.  
  • Authentically shared of themselves through their application personal statements and short answer questions.  

We encourage applicants to demonstrate what they are interested in, what they are committed to inside and outside of class, and that they are prepared for the academic rigor of an Emory education.  


Emory is taking a second year to examine its selection process, study indicators of academic promise, and assess how we can further advance equity, access, and the diversity of our extraordinary student community. A decision for future application years has not yet been made. 

We continue to be committed to the thoughtful, student-centered practices that have guided our work for decades. A student’s full potential is the joy we seek to understand each year.  

Don’t hesitate to connect with us by posting a comment to this blog, tweeting us @emoryadmission, or emailing us at admission@emory.edu. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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  1. dania hernandez

    Do i need to take the act or sat if I’m applying for spring 2022?

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