Red Hawk with red flowers below

SAT/ACT Test-Optional Policy

In fall 2015, Montclair State became the first public university in New Jersey to adopt an SAT/ACT test-optional policy.

We based our decision on studies showing that SAT and ACT test scores are less effective predictors of college success than student performance in high school courses.

Our test-optional policy ensures, as much as possible, that the students selected for admission are capable of succeeding in our rigorous academic programs. It also supports our mission of servicing a talented student body that reflects New Jersey’s broad socio-economic and ethnic diversity.

Taking a holistic approach to the admissions process, we are able to focus on your actual accomplishments in high school.

We consider various factors in reviewing your application, the most important of which is your academic performance in high school–particularly your high school GPA and the rigor of your courses.

All applicants are expected to complete a minimum of 16 units of college-preparatory coursework:

  • Four units of English.
  • Three units of mathematics (including Algebra, Geometry and Algebra II).
  • Two units of the same foreign language.
  • Two units of a laboratory science.
  • Two units of social sciences.
  • Three additional units in any of the above subject areas.

We also recognize student pursuit of a challenging curriculum beyond the minimum requirements. Examples include:

  • Mathematics beyond Algebra II.
  • Laboratory science beyond chemistry.
  • A third or fourth year of a foreign language.
  • Advanced Placement courses.
  • Honors courses.

We want to learn about you, your interests and achievements, which is why we also review:

  • Strong letters of recommendation from your teachers and/or counselors.
  • A well-written, thoughtful admissions essay.
  • Extra-curricular engagement such as community service, leadership in student organizations and/or athletics, performance and artistic activities, and part-time employment.
  • Should you choose to submit them, we also consider your standardized test scores. You are not hindered or advantaged by standardized test scores alone.

Your application is reviewed individually. While our admissions process is competitive, each decision is made within the context of the whole applicant pool and the number of places available in each incoming class.