Test Optional

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees mandates that each of the UI system schools require an ACT or SAT test score as part of the admission selection process. However, in response to the continuing challenges in standardized test administration, UIC will be implementing an SAT and ACT test-optional choice for first-year applicants applying to the Spring 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022 terms.

More information about the first-year review process can be found on our first-year requirements page. Review frequently asked questions about the test-optional policy below. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions — First-Year Admission

Why is UIC making first-year admissions ACT and SAT test-optional for the current application cycle?

While typically part of our review process, testing availability has impacted the ability of many of our applicants to test and send scores in time for our deadlines. In response to the situation, UIC is allowing a test-optional pathway for individuals applying to the Spring 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022 terms. 

How should I decide whether to send scores?

If you have taken the SAT or ACT, and you feel that your test scores adequately reflect your abilities, we encourage you to send them to us and to not select a test-optional review.

If you have not taken the exams, or if you are concerned that your scores do not reflect your academic preparation for college, you have the option to select a test-optional review. We do not encourage anyone to test for the purpose of admission at UIC, there is no advantage in the admission process to submitting test scores. 

How is the review process different if I do not submit my test scores?

The test-optional review is not fundamentally different than the test-inclusive review. It is important to understand that selecting the test optional review will not put you at a disadvantage for our review process. Applications will be reviewed holistically with or without test scores. You can review application decision criteria on our first-year requirements page.

How do I tell UIC that I am interested in being reviewed without test scores?

When completing the UIC-specific questions on the Common Application, you will be asked for your “Preferred Testing Plan” where you can select if you would like to include your scores with your application. Selecting yes or no will determine whether or not test scores will be used in your application review. 

Please note, if you select a test optional review, UIC Admissions will not consider your ACT or SAT test scores, even if you send, or have previously sent ACT or SAT scores.

If you do not select test-optional, the scores will be considered and required.

Can I change my mind after making a selection for test-optional?

Yes, you can. However, applying test-optional does not place any applicant at a disadvantage in the review process and we do not encourage students to test for the purpose of admission at UIC. However, if your plans change and you wish to alter your designation between test-optional and test-inclusive, and you have not yet received a decision on your application, you may utilize the petition process to make this request. The petition form is located in your application status portal

I want to apply Early Action, but my test score will not be available until after November 2. Should I apply test-optional?

While our Early Action deadline is November 2nd, we do allow 3-5 days for all items to be received. However, applicants who are awaiting materials are not denied. If you apply Early Action and remain incomplete, we will simply change your application to Regular Decision. You may still receive an earlier decision, it just may not be by December 1.

Frequently Asked Questions — Other items

Will I still be eligible for merit scholarships if I do not submit scores?

Yes. Test-optional applicants are eligible for review for merit scholarships without any disadvantage. Apply by the Early Action deadline for priority consideration for scholarships. See prioritydate.uic.edu for scholarship criteria. 

Will I be able to be considered for UIC’s special programs like the Guaranteed Professional Programs Admissions initiative (GPPA), Honors College?

Yes. Applicants to the Honors College and the Guaranteed Professional Programs Admissions initiative (GPPA) will be considered without a test score. Your review will not be at a disadvantage by selecting test-optional. 

If I am international or home schooled, can I still choose test optional review?

Yes. All first-year applicants will have the option to choose a test-optional review.  

Please note, some international applicants may still be required to demonstrate English proficiency through other tests. See international requirements for details. 

What if I am denied? Can I change my review option and try again?

See our Denied Students FAQ for details on options after a denial decision.