Standardized Testing FAQ

Got questions about our standardized testing requirements? We've got answers!

What is Occidental's philosophy on standardized test scores?

Occidental utilizes a comprehensive review process when considering students for admission. We value academic performance, extracurricular achievement and personal attributes when evaluating first-year and transfer applications.

In our review of your academic record, Occidental places the most emphasis on course rigor and classroom performance. Because Occidental receives applications from students at a wide variety of schools across the United States and around the world, we utilize standardized test scores to give additional context to your classroom performance. We require standardized tests of all applicants, including international students and students who are homeschooled.

Which standardized tests will Occidental accept?

All applicants are required to submit either the SAT I or the ACT. SAT and ACT scores are viewed equally in our process, so students may take either exam and can submit scores from both. 

SAT II subject tests are not required for admission, but we will consider those scores in our review process.

Does Occidental require the essay portion on the new redesigned SAT?

No.  The essay portion is recommended but not required.
Does Occidental “superscore?"

Yes. When reviewing standardized test results, we will always look at you “on your best day," meaning that we will always look at your best scores on each section of these exams. You should plan to send all scores to Occidental, and we will only look at your best scores when reviewing your academic record. We will always see your highest results on each section of the SAT and ACT.