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Test Optional Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Why is Bentley implementing a “Test Optional” policy for 2021-2022?

Because of the disruption in test availability and testing environments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have had inequitable access to standardized tests. Bentley is making standardized test scores optional for students applying for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 to ensure equitable opportunity for admission, scholarships, and the Honors Programs. In addition, you may feel that your standardized test scores do not accurately reflect your academic potential. A test-optional admission policy allows you to choose whether your SAT and/or ACT test scores will be considered as part of the admission review. This applies to all domestic and international first year and transfer students.

What does “Test Optional” mean?

Bentley will evaluate your application for admission without regard to either SAT or ACT scores for both admission, scholarships, and the Honors Program. However, you do have the option to submit test scores.

On the Bentley University supplement to the Common Application, select either:

  • Yes, I would like my test scores to be reviewed
  • No, I choose for my test scores to not be considered as a part of my application

If you select "no," your application for admission will be reviewed without considering scores, regardless of whether we have already received them or they are listed on the Common Application or your high school transcript. 

If I do submit my test scores, how will Bentley use them?

In our test optional year, the primary academic focus will be on your secondary school curriculum and grades. Our holistic review of your application includes learning about you through your essay, teacher/guidance counselor recommendations, your extracurricular activities and other commitments. With respect to academics, we want to see how you challenged yourself in relation to the classes offered by your school and how you performed in those classes. If submitted, we will evaluate test scores separately from your classroom performance and will only consider test scores if they have a positive impact on the evaluation process.

Am I eligible for scholarships and the Honors Program if I do not submit test scores?

Yes. All applicants are considered for scholarships and the Honors Program regardless of the submission of test scores. There is no separate application required for either. Please note that the Bentley Women’s Leadership Program requires a separate application. However, test scores are not required for this program either.

When do I need to decide if I want to submit test scores? Can I change my mind?

On the Bentley supplement to the Common Application, you will indicate whether you want Bentley to consider your test scores in our evaluation. We encourage you to make this decision prior to submitting your application. If you indicate that you want us to use your scores, and then change your mind, you must do so prior to the application deadline for the admission program to which you are applying (Early Decision I, Early Decision II, or Regular Decision). Alternatively, if your application indicates you do not want us to use your scores and you change your mind, you have until the application deadline to make the change. If you have already submitted your Common Application but it is prior to your application deadline, send confirmation of your change in preference by email to ugadmission@bentley.edu.

How should I determine whether I should submit my tests scores?

We realize that not all students will have access to one of the standardized tests. However, if you do have test scores, you will not be disadvantaged by sending them. Please note that Bentley “super scores” any test scores you submit, taking into account only the highest score achieved on each test section, if you took the test multiple times.

How do I submit test scores for consideration?

If you do choose to submit scores, we will accept unofficial scores. (If you are admitted and enroll, official scores will be required prior to enrollment). Submit either official or unofficial test scores in one of the following ways: 

  • Submitted directly from the testing agency (SAT code: 3096; ACT code: 1783)
  • Included on your secondary school transcript
  • Sent directly by your school/college counselor or CBO advisor to ugadmission@bentley.edu or fax +1-781-891-3414
I am planning to apply as a recruited athlete. Even though Bentley is test optional, does the NCAA require me to submit test scores?

Due to COVID-19 testing limitations, the NCAA has announced a temporary policy for 2020-21. Students who initially enroll full time during the 2021-2022 academic year and intend to play NCAA Division I or II athletics will not be required to take a standardized test to meet NCAA initial-eligibility requirements.

Does the test optional policy include the English Language Proficiency tests?

No. If you are a non-native English speaker, you will still be required to demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting results from one of the following tests: TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge English Assessment, or Duolingo. All of these tests are offered online. You may qualify for a waiver of this requirement. However, you must submit standardized test scores and meet our English language proficiency waiver policy for either First Year or Transfer students.