Test optional

Prospective students applying for fall 2021 admission will have the option to apply without submitting an ACT or SAT score. MSU is making this change as a result of test-taking disruptions due to the novel coronavirus.   

Students will indicate on the application whether they would like SAT or ACT exam scores included in their evaluation. 

Applicants who would like to have test scores considered will have the ability to self-report scores on the application. Admitted students who chose to apply with self-reported test scores will be required to provide official test results to the university before they can enroll. ACT or SAT scores should be sent directly to MSU by the testing agency. The ACT code is 2032; the SAT code is 1465. The writing portion is recommended, but not required. For more information about having your scores sent from the testing agency, visit ACT or SAT online.


Test-optional FAQs


How do I indicate that I’d like to apply without a test score?

Students will be able to tell us in their application whether they want their test score to be included or excluded from the admission review process.



If I choose to have my test scores considered with my application, how do I report them?

Students may self-report test scores, and we will make decisions and award scholarships based on self-reported test scores. Admitted students will need to submit official tests before attending New Student Orientation (NSO). MSU will look at your highest composite score.



What if I have already sent MSU my test scores, but would not like them considered during my application review?

If you indicate on your application that you do not want your test scores considered, your test scores will be excluded from your admission review, regardless of whether you send them to us from a testing agency.



How will MSU evaluate students that have not submitted a test score?

MSU has always taken a holistic approach to evaluating students for admission. Standardized test scores make up a small part of our decision process. In the absence of a test score, we will continue to look at all factors on your application, including academic performance in high school, strength and quality of your curriculum, recent trends in your academic performance, your class rank, and your leadership, talents, conduct and diversity of experience.



If I apply without a test score, will I still be considered for merit scholarships?

Yes, students who apply without a test score will still be considered for merit scholarships.



What if I change my mind after submitting my application and would like to change my test-optional response?

Students should think carefully about whether they want a test score considered in their application review when they apply. If a student would like to change their test-optional response, they must email their desired preference/change to admis@msu.edu with the subject line of Test Option Change.” This should be done as soon as possible, because the test-optional choice cannot be changed after a certain point in the admissions review process.



How does MSU evaluate test scores?

MSU considers the highest total SAT or composite ACT score on file. There is no disadvantage in sending multiple test scores to the Office of Admissions since the lower test scores are disregarded. MSU does not combine subscores from different sittings of the SAT or ACT to make a "best" combined or composite score.



Can transfer students apply test optional?

Transfer students who have completed more than 28 semester are not required to submit an ACT or SAT score, however those with less than 28 semester credits are still required to submit an ACT or SAT score. These scores must be sent directly to MSU by the testing agency. The ACT code is 2032; the SAT code is 1465.  Review the transfer application checklist for more information about applying.


Can international students apply test optional?

International freshman students are not required to submit an ACT or SAT score — however, international applicants who are required to submit evidence of English language proficiency may use ACT or SAT scores to meet this requirement. International students who do not provide an ACT or SAT score will need to provide an alternative English proficiency test score.