SAT/ACT Optional Policy Proves Successful

The University’s new SAT/ACT optional policy has proven an initial success, increasing the average high school GPA among incoming first-year students.

The average GPA increased to 3.26, while 45 percent of the Class of 2019 also took at least one Advanced Placement (AP) course in high school.

Photo of a pair of female Montclair State University students sitting down and chatting.

Montclair State’s decision to become the first public university in New Jersey to adopt an SAT/ACT test–optional policy was based on studies – including its own longitudinal data – showing that SAT and ACT scores are less effective predictors of college success than student performance in high school courses.

In choosing the incoming class, University officials’ goals are to assure students selected for admission are capable of succeeding in the University’s rigorous academic programs.

The new policy also supports the University’s mission as an access institution serving a talented student body that reflects New Jersey’s broad socioeconomic and ethnic diversity.

“By evaluating applicants’ academic performance overall, rather than placing weight on standardized test scores, we’ve seen an uptick in applications and acceptances among students for whom expensive test preparation is less accessible,” says Director of Undergraduate Admissions Jeffrey Indiveri-Gant.

So far, the policy has proven popular with students. Says freshman Natalie Zychlinski, “Not having to send SAT/ ACT scores allowed me to relax and focus more on the essay and other parts of the application.”