This process should take approximately 10 – 20 minutes to complete.

Items marked with a red asterisk * are required. Students are not required to complete items that do not have the red asterisk.


In this section, you will complete the Testing section of your Common App account. Each college has one of several common types of standardized testing policies. These include test-optional, test-blind, and test-flexible reporting requirements. In this section, we explain these different policies. You will learn about the following topics:


This is an example of the Testing section in Common App.
Screenshot of the Testing section, within the Common App tab, in Common App.


In this video, we discuss the most common standardized testing requirements found at most colleges, including test-optional, test-flexible, and test-blind policies. We also discuss how to learn about a specific college’s testing policy. This video is 4 minutes in length.

Completing the Testing Section of Common App: Understanding Test-Optional Policies

In this video, we discuss how to report test scores to colleges. We also discuss other types of standardized tests, including AP tests and the IB Diploma. The purpose of this section is for you to understand how to share your test scores with colleges. This section should take 2 – 20 minutes to complete.

Completing the Testing Section of Common App: Reporting Test Scores

In this video, we discuss Common App questions about standardized tests that are specific only to international students. This section should take 5 minutes to complete.

Completing the Testing Section of Common App: Test Scores for International Applicants

Tips & Reminders

  • Usually when colleges and people talk about “test scores,” they are referring to the SAT or the ACT. Some colleges require students to take one of these tests and report their scores in order to apply. Some colleges do not require test scores as part of their admissions process. This second group of colleges are called test-optional and it really is your choice to send or not send scores. A third group of colleges is test-blind. This means that they will not review test scores when making the admission decision, even if the scores are sent to the college.
  • If you plan to take a future test but are unsure of the date, you can add the future test date or dates up until the time that you submit your application. You can also have test scores sent from the testing agency directly to the college admission office.
  • A college’s website will describe their testing policy. Go to the Admission tab of the college website and look for information about application requirements.
  • You can also find a link to the college’s testing policy under Common App’s My Colleges tab if you have put the college on your list. Choose the college name on the left and then scroll down on the page to find information about the college’s standardized testing policy and a link to its website.

  • Another good source for information about testing policies is FairTest.
  • If a college is test-optional, we recommend that you talk to your school counselor to decide whether or not to submit your scores to that specific college. You have the option of choosing to submit scores to only some of your colleges.
  • Some colleges allow students to “self-report” their scores by reporting them in Common App. Read the college’s testing policy carefully to understand its testing policy. Often, self-reporting means listing the test scores in Common App.
  • Other colleges require students to send “official” scores. To send official scores, you must contact the testing agency, which is either the College Board for the SAT, or the ACT, and order the reports. There is a fee to order official scores but you may qualify for a fee waiver. Your school counselor should have information about the fee waiver.
  • If there are additional questions, Common App Solutions Center has information for applicants, counselors, and recommenders.



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