Admission Test-Optional Policy
St. Mary’s College of Maryland recognizes that an applicant’s secondary school record (their curriculum and grades) and standardized testing are the strongest predictors of success at the College. We also know that research supports – and many students believe – that SAT and ACT scores do not fully represent students’ academic achievement, potential and college preparedness, and that the secondary school record is a stronger predictor of success than standardized testing. Beginning with the Fall 2021 entering class, the College will permit applicants (with some exceptions explained below) to choose whether they wish to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of the application for undergraduate admission.
Applicants with a traditional high school record (i.e., includes a defined curriculum and letter/numerical grades) may choose to submit SAT or ACT scores by supplying the College with either official or self-reported scores. Students who submit self-reported scores will not be required to submit official test score reports unless they are admitted and choose to enroll. Admitted applicants who choose to apply under the test-optional policy and enroll at the College will submit their official test scores for institutional research purposes.
There are some applicants where absent review of their SAT or ACT scores, the College has concluded that it cannot fully assess their likelihood of success at St. Mary’s College. Those applicants will be required to submit SAT or ACT scores for undergraduate admission consideration. They include applicants: (1) who have been home-schooled; (2) who were taught in a non-traditional academic setting (i.e. without course-specific grades, pass/fail only grading scales, or narrative transcripts); and/or (3) who must demonstrate English language proficiency (i.e., are required to take an English language proficiency examination).
St. Mary’s College of Maryland is committed to a holistic review of our applicants. This includes a full review of submitted application materials, including: the application, secondary school record, recommendations, essays and any other materials submitted as part of the application. We encourage students who believe that their standardized test scores accurately reflect their academic abilities and might even give a more complete picture of achievement and potential, to submit their scores. Merit scholarships will be based on the entire submitted application information, whether the applicant has submitted standardized test scores or not.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does SMCM make standardized test scores optional in the admission process?
How will SMCM evaluate students who do not choose to have their test scores considered as part of their application?
Why would a student submit standardized test scores if they don’t have to?
If you think your scores are an accurate representation of your academic preparedness and might even give a more complete picture of your achievement and potential, please send them to us.
When can I apply as a test-optional student?
How do I choose whether or not to have my scores considered as part of my admission review?
If I want to have my test scores considered, how do I report my scores to SMCM?
Will I be at a disadvantage if I decide not to submit standardized test scores?
Are there any students who must include test scores as part of their application?
If English is neither your native language nor the primary language of secondary school instruction, you must demonstrate English language proficiency through standardized testing. Please visit the International Students page to learn more.