Is UPenn Test Optional?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Students taking an exam in a desk.

Is UPenn test optional? Standardized testing is used as part of the comprehensive admissions process at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) to gain a better understanding of the applicant’s level of academic preparation. These examinations are just one factor among many others, both academic and non-academic, considered during the admissions process here.

However, beginning with the 2022-2023 admissions cycle, UPenn will no longer require applicants to submit either the SAT or the ACT. Both first-year students and transfer students must follow these requirements. Applicants who choose not to submit their scores from either the SAT or the ACT will not be disadvantaged in the admissions process.

Whether UPenn may be test optional or not, those students who can take either the SAT or the ACT and wish to report their scores can keep moving forward with that plan. Throughout their comprehensive review process, they will continue to assess all aspects of an individual’s application.

Penn is aware that the pandemic has had far-reaching effects, which have been unevenly distributed, and which, for some families, have been all-encompassing. The extraordinary fortitude, inventiveness, and adaptability displayed by UPenn’s applicants have been a source of inspiration for the university.

As a consequence of this, Penn has decided to continue maintaining its test optional policy through the admissions cycle of 2022-2023. This extension will apply to all applicants, whether first-year or transfer students UPenn provides more than a test optional policy.

Writing in a desk using a pencil.

Penn will continue to accept SAT and ACT scores from prospective students who want to include standardized testing as part of their application to the university. They will continue to accept ACT and SAT scores through the November test dates for applicants interested in the Early Decision program, and they will continue to accept scores through December 2022 for applicants interested in the Regular Decision program.

At this time, as UPenn provides more than a test optional policy, self-reported scores will continue to be accepted by Penn for admissions consideration. Students who were accepted to the school and included test scores as part of their application will be required to submit official score reports before beginning their studies.

Whether UPenn is test optional or not, testing that demonstrates English language proficiency is still a requirement for international students enrolled in schools where English is neither the language of instruction nor their native language.

What is UPenn’s Acceptance Rate?

What is the current UPenn acceptance rate? The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) has disclosed the results of its regular decision process for the Class of 2026, but the school has elected to withhold the acceptance rate information. Several schools in the Ivy League have decided not to disclose these numbers to shift the focus of the conversation away from the historically low acceptance rates and back onto the students.

It is estimated, using the data that is currently available, that the admission rate for the Class of 2026 at the University of Pennsylvania is approximately 4.4 percent.

The Class of 2026, which will be UPenn’s 270th class, received approximately 55,000 student applications, which is approximately 15,000 more applicants than the Class of 2024. Students who were ultimately accepted into the program submitted their applications through Questbridge, Early Decision, and Regular Decision.

Two students talking in a table.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Class of 2026 is the most diverse group of admitted students in the university’s history. There are students in this class who come from a wide variety of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds; in fact, many of these students are the first members of their families to attend a university that offers four-year degrees.

In addition, the University of Pennsylvania accepted a record number of students from the city of Philadelphia, making it the institution’s most inclusive class ever. On Ivy Day (March 31, 2022), the University of Pennsylvania officially announced.

Acceptance Rate at the University of Pennsylvania for the Class of 2026

Number of Applications Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
Regular Applications Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
Early Applications 7,795 1,218 15.63%

Regular Admissions Results for the University of Pennsylvania Class of 2026

The University of Pennsylvania has made the decision to keep its standard admissions requirements for the Class of 2026. Instead, the university decided to emphasize the varied backgrounds of the students in the class as well as their overall success.

Two women talking while sitting near a table.

According to UPenn’s research, forty percent of accepted students held jobs during high school, while eighty percent were involved in community service. During their time in high school, approximately thirty percent did research.

Early Admissions Results for the University of Pennsylvania Class of 2026

In December 2021, the University of Pennsylvania disclosed the Early Admission results for the Class of 2026. This prestigious university revealed that 1,218 applicants had been selected for early admission, making the university’s overall acceptance rate 15.6%. You should submit your application to UPenn as early as possible to improve your acceptance chances.

What are the Admission Requirements for UPenn?

Students who have their hearts set on receiving their higher education from the University of Pennsylvania are required to submit a comprehensive application. However, before beginning the application process, if you want to increase your chances of getting into the university, and UPenn gives more than a test optional policy, you need to familiarize yourself with UPenn statistics.

UPenn GPA Requirements

On a scale from 4.0 to 3.9, the high school grade point average of admitted students to the University of Pennsylvania was 3.9. Students who enter the University of Pennsylvania typically rank in the top one percent of their high school class and earn primarily As in their final few years of education.

Female students studying in a table.

However, these GPA requirements are not stated explicitly by the university in their requirements for application. The University of Pennsylvania does not impose a minimum GPA requirement on applicants.

This indicates that other aspects of your application that stand out, such as a good score on the SAT or ACT, can give you an edge over other applicants to the University of Pennsylvania. It is difficult to pinpoint a single metric for a student’s success in the classroom, as stated on the website of the University of Pennsylvania.

UPenn SAT Requirements

When it comes to SAT scores, the University of Pennsylvania is known to be an extremely difficult university to get into. Although there is no established minimum SAT score requirement for admission to this university, only students whose UPenn SAT scores are in the top percentile are admitted to the college.

Students answering a test on a desk.

The university does offer a “super scoring” system, which means that they will consider the scores from the sections in which you performed the best out of any multiple scores you may have turned in. The table that follows presents a breakdown of the UPenn SAT Score range for various SAT sections for students who were admitted to UPenn in the academic year 2020–2021.

SAT Section SAT Score Range
Composite 1490-1560
Reading and Writing 710-770
Math 750-800

If this holds, then the typical SAT score of a student admitted to Penn is 1525. A student at the University of Pennsylvania would have a Reading and Writing SAT score of 740 on average. The average score that a student at Penn receives on the Math portion of the SAT is 775.

UPenn ACT Requirements

Since the University of Pennsylvania adopted a test optional policy in 2020, and since they plan to continue this policy for the admissions class of 2022-23, that means that ACT scores are not required as part of your UPenn application. This policy was first implemented in 2020. On the other hand, having a high score on the ACT can always help boost your application and make it stand out from the other candidates who have applied.

The range of ACT scores considered acceptable for admission to Penn in 2021 was from 35 to 36. Because of this, UPenn is considered one of the most challenging schools to get into, with the majority of accepted students who opted to submit their ACT scores scoring the maximum possible 36.

What are the Application Requirements for UPenn?

When you submit your application to Penn, you will be asked to select one of our four undergraduate schools or a coordinated dual-degree, accelerated, or specialized program that will serve as your academic “home base” throughout the duration of your time here. The context of the school or program to which you have applied will be considered when evaluating your application.

Before beginning the application process, the University of Pennsylvania strongly recommends that you familiarize yourself with its undergraduate schools, coordinated dual degree programs, and specialized programs. The following is a list of everything you need to do to get into Penn.

  • Both the Common Application and the Coalition Application can be submitted to Penn. They do not have a preference for either format, and they will review both applications with the same level of consideration. They want you to examine the features of each application format and utilize the platform that works best for you, so they encourage you to do so. You can only submit one application for each admissions cycle and not combine information from multiple sources.
  • The Application cost is $75, with a fee waiver offered to those who meet the requirements.
  • An Authorized Copy of Your High School Transcript
  • Report from School
  • Character references in the form of letters (3) Counselor Recommendation (By the school counselor) and Letters of Recommendation from Two Teachers Two letters of recommendation from teachers who teach major subjects such as English, Science, Math, etc. are required.
  • The Agreement on an Early Decision (only if applying for Early Decision)
  • Report on the Half-Year Mark
  • If a student’s application is deferred, the Early Decision deadline is February 15, 2022.
  • Regular Decision: Needs to be sent in by the school on its own as soon as midyear grades are available
  • Final Report- Required beginning in June for students who will be matriculating.
  • Standardized Testing In light of COVID-19, Penn will not require applicants to submit their SAT or ACT scores beginning with the 2021-22 academic year application cycle. Both first-year students and transfer students must follow these requirements. Applicants who choose not to submit their scores from either the SAT or the ACT will not be disadvantaged in the admissions process. As UPenn is test optional, those students who can take either the SAT or the ACT and wish to report their scores can keep moving forward with that plan.
  • Interviews depend on the number of available volunteers, more than ninety percent of applicants are typically allowed to participate in an interview. The interviewers for UPenn aren’t admissions officers, but they are eager to find out more about you and to talk about their experiences at Penn.
  • Additional Resources and Information
  • Fine Arts Supplement
  • One more letter of recommendation, if possible (1)
  • Financial Aid Material
  • Conditions That Must Be Satisfied by Foreign Students -The application requirements are comparable for an international student, with the addition of the requirement that they must take an English proficiency test. If you want to be admitted, you have to show that you are proficient in the English language. You can demonstrate this by passing tests such as:
  • TOEFL – Test Of English as a Foreign Language)
  • IELTS – International English Language Testing System)
  • (DET) Duolingo English Test

When is the Application Deadline for UPenn?

Even if the University of Pennsylvania has not received all of the components of an application, it reserves the right to evaluate the application and come to a conclusion about it. The application process for the University of Pennsylvania should adhere to the schedule that is provided below.

Application Plan Application Deadline Decision Date Reply/ Enrollment Date
Early Decision November 1 Mid-December January 5
Regular Decision January 5 Mid-April May 2

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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