Do I have to take the SAT/ACT essay?

It depends on where you plan to apply, see the list we compiled below. 

Last Updated: Aug 1, 2019 6:01:00 AM

These lists were compiled just before the 2019-2020 school year.
Because colleges can change their admission testing requirements during the school year,
it’s important that you double-check these requirements with each college to which you are applying.


  • Berry College (GA)1
  • Martin Luther College (MN)1
  • Rhode Island College1
  • Soka University of America (CA)
  • United States Military Academy (NY)
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of California Davis
  • University of California Irvine
  • University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • University of California Merced
  • University of California Riverside
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of California Santa Barbara
  • University of California Santa Cruz
  • University of Evansville (IN)2
  • University of Mary Hardin Baylor (TX)
  • University of Montana Western3
  • VanderCook College of Music (IL)


  • Abilene Christian University (TX)
  • Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (NY)
  • Augsburg College (MN)2
  • College of Charleston (SC)    
  • Duke University (NC)
  • Eastern Illinois University4
  • Manhattan College (NY)5    
  • Michigan State University
  • Montana State University5
  • Oregon State University6
  • Saint Anselm College (NH)2    
  • Saint Norbert College (WI)    
  • Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania    
  • State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Texas State University7
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities    
  • University of Montana
  • Webb Institute of Naval Architecture (NY)

With special thanks to our friend/colleague, Cigus Vanni, The College Fairy, who researched and complied these lists

  1. require for ACT, neither require nor recommend for SAT
  2. test optional school
  3. require for ACT, recommend for SAT
  4. recommend for ACT; neither require nor recommend for SAT
  5. recommend; used for placement in writing courses, not for admission
  6. recommend for SAT; neither require nor recommend for ACT
  7. recommend for ACT

Topics: ACT Test-Prep SAT

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