Is Dartmouth Test Optional?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Female student writing in a desk.

Is Dartmouth Test Optional?

Is Dartmouth test optional? Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Dartmouth College has decided to extend its test-optional admission policy through the 2022-23 application cycle. This decision comes at a time when the high school class of 2023 is beginning the process of searching for colleges. During the pandemic, the College Board and ACT continue to recommend “flexibility” in standardized testing requirements; Dartmouth’s extended policy pause aligns with this recommendation.

A lack of universal access to SAT and ACT test administrations around the world was taken into consideration when the initial pause in Dartmouth’s testing requirement was implemented two years ago. This was done anticipating the pandemic’s peak in the summer of 2020.

Sadly, that scenario is still playing out more often than not. It is not the right time to bring back the testing requirement. However, standardized testing provides a helpful statistical context in our holistic evaluation of a student’s academic record and Dartmouth’s assessment of a student’s preparation for the rigorous curriculum it offers. The current reality that we are facing in terms of public health is reflected in Dartmouth’s requirements, priorities, and primary focus.

Following the announcement that the testing policy will be put on hold in 2020 and 2021, it will be up to each individual student to decide whether or not to include their test scores. That decision regarding the submission will be honored without any bias or consideration at Dartmouth. Since Dartmouth has adopted a test optional policy, instead of focusing on what is absent from the file, they will evaluate each application based on the information that is currently present within it.

There is no advantage to the SAT or the ACT for students who wish to include testing in their application for the following academic year. Both are very much appreciated. Dartmouth will not report testing profiles or related data for the classes accepted and enrolled during this test-optional period. This is in line with previous announcements made in relation to the testing pause.

Dartmouth will continue to adhere to the guidelines and policies established by the Ivy League regarding the testing requirements necessary for prospective students interested in participating in the varsity athletic program. In addition, whether Dartmouth is test optional or not, the requirement that international students who do not speak English at home and for whom English is neither their native nor their primary language of instruction must take a language proficiency test have not changed.

Students are strongly encouraged to focus on the application’s many facets as a whole, particularly those that highlight their academic prowess and personal narratives. Although Dartmouth is test optional now, it has been more than a century since Dartmouth adopted the practice of holistic admissions review, and the age-old ideal of considering the applicant as a whole remains the guiding principle behind how they evaluate applications in these unprecedented times.

What is Dartmouth’s Acceptance Rate?

What is the current Dartmouth Acceptance Rate? The prestigious Ivy League university received a total of 28,336 applications, just 21 fewer than the record number of 28,357 applications received the previous year. This represents a 33 percent increase from the previous year. Only 1,767 students were selected to receive admission offers from Dartmouth.

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The acceptance rate for the Class of 2026 at Dartmouth was only 6.2 percent, making it tied with the Class of 2025 for the title of the most selective admission cycle in the school’s history.

Dartmouth College Class of 2026 Acceptance Rates

Number of Applications Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
Regular Applications 25,703 1,207 4.7%
Early Applications 2,633 560 20.38%

Dartmouth Regular Admissions Results for the Class of 2026

Compared to the previous year, the number of admissions applications submitted to Dartmouth College was significantly higher. Even though Dartmouth received 21 fewer applications this year compared to the Class of 2025, the total number of applications submitted was still significantly improved from the Class of 2024.

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Dartmouth University received 25,703 applications during the regular admission round for the Class of 2026, but it only admitted 1,207 students. Dartmouth, an illustrious Ivy League member, has a strict admissions policy and only accepts 4.7 percent of the students who apply during the regular round.

Dartmouth Early Admissions Results for the Class of 2026

In December of 2021, Dartmouth College shared the results of its Early Admission process for the incoming class of 2026 students. The college accepted only 560 of the 2,633 students who applied during the early round, representing an acceptance rate of 20.38 percent.

The percentage of applicants accepted during the early round is typically much higher than the regular admission numbers. You should submit your application to Dartmouth College as early as possible to improve your acceptance chances.

What are the Admission Requirements for Dartmouth College?

Dartmouth College is one of the eight colleges that make up the Ivy League. It is also recognized as one of the best universities in the world due to the quality of its academic programs, the fact that its faculty members are among the best in the world, and the opportunities for participation in research.

Dartmouth College GPA Requirements

Although there is no hard and fast official GPA cutoff for admission to Dartmouth College, the average GPA (Grade Point Average) of students accepted into the college is 4.11. Because the average GPA at Dartmouth College is so high, getting into the school is extremely difficult. Whether Dartmouth will still be test optional or not, prospective students need to have an academic profile that places them in the top 10 percent of the 95 percent of applicants.

The Minimum SAT Score Required by Dartmouth College

The minimum required score on the SAT is exceptionally high, and to demonstrate that you are qualified for admission to Dartmouth College, you must fulfill this requirement. At Dartmouth University, a score of 1440 on the SAT places a student in the 25th percentile. Only about a fifth of the students who are accepted into the program have a score that is lower than 1440.

The SAT score needed to get into Dartmouth College at the 75th percentile is 1560. This indicates that approximately 75% of the students who are granted admission have SAT scores that are lower than 1560. Our research indicates that a score of 1500 on the SAT is equivalent to being in the 50th percentile at Dartmouth College.

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You could also set different goals for each section based on their percentile. For instance, a score of 790 in mathematics places one in the 75th percentile, while a score of 730 places one in the 25th percentile.

The scores of EBRW fall between 710 and 770 on the 25th and 75th percentiles, respectively. If you believe that you are deficient in one area, you should make an effort to outperform the criteria in that area. Therefore, getting the required aggregate score is possible even if you get a higher score in one component but a lower score in another.

The ACT score for Dartmouth College

The testing policy for the ACT at Dartmouth College is the same as the testing policy for the SAT, which means that students are not required to take either test. It is not required, but if you submit it with your application to Dartmouth College, it will be considered. The data from the Dartmouth ACT indicate that these can be considered the cutoffs for the Dartmouth ACT.

The ACT composite score at Dartmouth College ranges from 32 to 35, with 32 representing the 25th and 35 representing the 75th percentile. There are no minimum ACT score requirements to attend Dartmouth College.

However, if your score is below the 25th percentile, you might have trouble getting accepted. The total number of points earned on the ACT depends on adding up the results of all four subtests. You need to earn a score that is relatively close to the expected value in each component to earn the required composite score.

What are the Application Requirements for Dartmouth?

In point of fact, admissions officers at Dartmouth College are searching for exceptional students who have the potential to go above and beyond to become the next generation of industry leaders and innovators. The following are some of the requirements that you will need to fulfill to gain admission to Dartmouth College:

Application through the common app

You are required to submit your application through the Common Application. To accomplish this, add Dartmouth to the section titled “My College.”


To apply to Dartmouth, prospective students must complete four essays, including a personal statement and three shorter supplemental essays, also known as writing supplements.

Students taking a picture in the library.

Your essays ought to be able to assist us in comprehending those intangibles that are difficult to reflect in a resume easily. Providing Dartmouth with an insight into the characteristics that define who you are.

Application Fee or Waiver of Application Fees

You must pay an application fee of $80 when you submit your application. You may be eligible for a fee waiver if you or your family face exceptional difficulties meeting the financial requirements of paying the application fee. Your candidacy will not be harmed in any way by your submission of a request for a fee waiver.

Dartmouth Writing Supplement

You are required to write two additional essays for the Dartmouth application. Both of these are question-based assessments that are unique to Dartmouth and help the Admissions Committee get a better sense of whether or not Dartmouth and you might be a good “fit” for each other. In the first essay, you will be given a question to which you must provide an answer using no more than one hundred words.

In the second essay, you will be given a prompt based on multiple questions, and you will need to choose one of them and respond to it in between 250 and 300 words.

Report from the Secondary School

The secondary school report is something that your high school counselor needs to turn in. The report provides an overview of your academic performance throughout high school. In addition to this, the guidance counselor is required to hand in an official transcript as well as a school report. The report on the school is an overview of the institution itself.

All enrolling students must submit a Final Secondary School Report by the 1st of June, and transfer applicants must submit a Final Secondary School Report as part of their application.

A Copy of Your High School Transcript

A student’s work is documented in an official record called a transcript, which lists the courses that were taken and the grades that were earned. Suppose you are applying during your senior year of high school. In that case, you must submit a transcript that includes information on the courses you took and your grades for grades 9 through 11 (or the equivalent if your school’s grade-year progression is different from the standard progression used in the United States).

You will also be required to submit updated versions of your transcripts, including grades for each quarter, during the application review process. If you are offered admission to Dartmouth, you must submit your midyear and final grades.

School Profile

The grading system, course offerings, and student body demographics can all be found in a school’s profile, which provides an overview of the institution.

Our admissions officers can evaluate applicants’ grades, abilities, and opportunities thanks to the information and data provided on a school profile. This information also helps our officers better understand where the student is coming from. It is common practice to include the school profile alongside the transcript and the Secondary School Report.

Mid-Year Report

During the first semester of your senior year, your guidance counselor will fill out a form called a Mid-Year Report to report on your overall academic performance. Along with the Mid-Year Report, your school counselor should submit a mid-year transcript that includes current grades through the current marking period.

Counselor Evaluations

A counselor evaluation is a written statement that addresses the applicant’s academic performance, extracurricular engagements, and personal character. This statement is typically completed by the applicant’s school counselor or another official from the school. Depending on the specifics of the given situation, it might also cover other topics. The Secondary School Report will typically include this assessment as part of the document.

Teacher Evaluations

It is necessary to submit letters of recommendation written by two different instructors. If at all possible, the two instructors should be the ones who were responsible for instructing you on one of the essential topics.

Consultant talking to a students in a room.

The instructor should comment on the applicant’s academic performance, as well as their engagement with the material covered in class and their fellow students, as well as their personal character. Depending on the specifics of the given situation, it might also cover other topics.

The SAT or the ACT

As a result of the widespread Covid-19 pandemic, Dartmouth no longer requires students to take exams. It is up to you whether or not you want to submit the test scores. Dartmouth will accept superscored testing, also known as your highest section scores in either test if you submit multiple scores from the SAT or ACT. This policy applies regardless of the dates on which the tests were taken.

You can self-report your scores on your application, and even before we receive your official scores, whether “is Dartmouth test optional” or not, Dartmouth will consider the scores you provided.

Recommendation from Peers

It is strongly recommended that you submit a peer recommendation to Dartmouth so that they can gain a better understanding of your interests and character from the point of view of another individual. A recommendation from a peer is a letter of support for an applicant’s candidacy written by someone the applicant considers to be a peer and can be written by anyone. It shouldn’t be someone currently in a position of authority or responsibility over the applicant in any way.

Final Secondary School Report

The Final Secondary School Report is a form that is turned in by your high school counselor. This report typically provides a summary of your academic performance through the end of your senior year of high school. Once final grades from the senior year are available, the final transcript must be submitted alongside the Final Secondary School Report.

Prerequisites for Students from Other Countries

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Duolingo English Test, or Cambridge C1/C2 if English is not your first language and it is not the language of instruction at your current secondary or post-secondary school.

Whether “is Dartmouth test optional” or not, Dartmouth will still accept online results from the TOEFL and IELTS examinations from applicants for the Class of 2026 to be more flexible for international applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic: TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, TOEFL IPT Plus for China, and IELTS Indicator. This is in addition to the English Language Proficiency details listed above.

When is the Application Deadline for Dartmouth?

The application deadlines for Dartmouth College are somewhat flexible. The following is a list of the cutoff dates for applying to undergraduate programs at Dartmouth College:

Admission  Application Deadline
Early Decision November 1
Regular Decision January 3

If you need help putting the finishing touches on your early applications or want some advice on whether or not applying Early Decision or an Early Action is a good option for you, at AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process, including our athletic recruitment program.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.



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