Standardized tests are just one of the many aspects of your application that we’ll consider as we get to know you and assess your “fit” with Dickinson, but we’ve found that students and families have a number of questions about this one part of the application process. The following information is meant to help you address your questions about standardized test scores. If you have questions about this or any other part of the application, contact your regional admissions counselor or e-mail us at We’re always here to help.

The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) is used to help determine your academic readiness to attend college. It is a three-hour and forty-five-minute test containing multiple-choice questions designed to measure your verbal and mathematical-reasoning abilities and an essay assignment.

The SAT II (Subject Tests) focus on specific academic subjects. For example, you may test in biology, history, mathematics, literature or a foreign language. SAT II subject tests results are not an application requirement.

The four-hour ACT test is designed to assess high-school students’ general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The ACT covers four specific skill areas: English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning.

The TOEFL provides English-proficiency testing for international students planning to study in countries where English is the language of instruction.  Other accepted English proficiency test-score results include the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and the MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery).

Does Dickinson require any standardized tests as part of the international-admissions process?

All international students must submit either the SAT or the ACT. Dickinson also requires an English proficiency test score (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB) for all applicants for whom English has not been the primary language of instruction.

TIP: Use the same name and name order on all application materials, including your testing forms and registration. If you become aware that your name is different on your testing materials, please notify us immediately so we can be sure to properly match your test materials to your student application file.

Does Dickinson require a minimum score on any of the standardized tests?

Dickinson requires a minimum TOEFL score of 90 on the Internet-based test (IBT), but a score of 100+ is preferred.  On the paper-based test, our minimum is 570 and our preferred is 600.  A score of 7 or higher is required for the IELTS, while a score of 84 is preferred on the MELAB.

If you are applying for scholarships or financial aid, a combined SAT Critical Reading and Math score of 1350 or better, or an ACT composite of 32 or better, is preferred. If your combined score is lower, we will consider your English proficiency test results when reviewing your credentials.

Does Dickinson prefer the SAT or the ACT? If there is no preference, which test do most applicants take?

Dickinson College does not have a preference between the SAT and the ACT, and you can feel comfortable submitting either. Most of our students submit SAT results.

Does Dickinson accept proof of English, other than the TOEFL exam?

The TOEFL exam is the preferred test for evaluating English proficiency for Dickinson’s rigorous curriculum and for smooth processing of the student visa. We will, however, accept the IELTS or MELAB as indicated above.

There are circumstances where we may waive the English proficiency requirement. It is an individual conversation on a case-by-case basis between the international admissions counselor and the applicant.  In order for us to agree to waive the English proficiency requirement, you must contact us via email at to share your circumstances and request a waiver.

Some common circumstances in which the English proficiency requirement may be waived:

  • English is your first language
  • You have been studying in an American educational system for 5 or more years
  • You were unable to take the English proficiency exam for a permissible reason and you have taken other English evaluation exams

How can I submit my test results to Dickinson?

You may submit your testing results:

  • directly through the testing service, to be sent to us electronically under the name you used for that exam OR
  • as a certified copy of your exam results, signed and stamped by an official at your high school or your educational advisor.

The certified copy can be sent to us via e-mail to, fax to 001-717-245-1442, or sent via postal mail (only if it is your only option, as they must arrive by the application deadline).

Does Dickinson require SAT II? If so, how many and which ones should I take?

Students usually choose to take the SAT II in subject areas in which they feel they perform strongest or are most interested. Dickinson College does not require SAT II test results; however, if you have taken the exams, you may submit the test scores as additional academic support to your application.