Standardized Tests

Our admission process is holistic, and test scores are one element that help us assess your readiness for Occidental.

All applicants to Occidental, including international applicants, must submit official test results from the ACT or SAT (SAT subject tests are optional).
Additionally, if English is not the language of instruction at your school, we require test results that demonstrate English language proficiency. Occidental accepts the TOEFL, IELTS, and DET (Duolingo English Test)
You may be exempt from taking an English language proficiency test if:
  • your native or first language is English
  • your high school's primary language of instruction is English, and you have attended the school for more than three years (these will be assessed on a case-by-case basis)
If you wish to request a TOEFL/IELTS/DET exemption, please fill out this form. Our office will respond to you via email with further information regarding waiving your English language proficiency exam waiver.
Occidental is a writing intensive institution and our small discussion-based classes require students to have a very strong command of English. Because we do not offer remedial English or ESOL courses, you must demonstrate English language ability by scoring at least:
  • 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (IBT)
  • 600 on the paper-based TOEFL
  • 7 on the IELTS exam
  • 75 on the DET
Please note that the above scores are minimums, and students who are most competitive in our admission process typically have scores well above these minimums. If your scores are borderline, some international applicants may be invited to have a Skype interview to confirm English language proficiency. We may contact you in February or March to schedule an interview.
Test results must be sent to Occidental directly from the testing agency or your high school. If the score report is a photocopy, an official of the testing agency or school must sign and send it directly to us in a sealed envelope. Any results submitted by the student, a translator or notary—even if "certified"—will not be considered official.
Questions can be sent to