SATs or ACTs for Music Majors?

An increasing number of accredited colleges and universities in the U.S. are no longer requiring college applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores.

Some schools specify they are test-optional. This means you get to decide whether to submit your scores. You’ll probably want to send them if they’re high, especially compared to what the schools you’re interested in applying to show as the median scores of their current class (available by googling). If your scores are low compared to what the schools show, you’ll want your audition, GPA, essay or personal statement, résumé, and letters of recommendation to make a case for why you deserve to be accepted.

Other schools are test flexible. They will specify what they accept as an alternative to SATs and ACTs. Options may include AP and/or IB test scores or SAT Subject Tests.

Some schools require standardized tests if you are homeschooled. Others allow you to forget about SATs and ACTs if you meet their minimum required GPA or class rank. Be sure to check the application requirements of each school you intend to apply to in order to see exactly what they need from you.

• Here is a list of schools that do not require SAT/ACT scores.


  1. Camila

    Hi, I am going to take the SAT, but I am not sure if that or the ACT or even both is good for me since I am planning on majoring in music.


    • First and foremost: check the application requirements for each school you’re applying to. That will give you your answer. Note that during the pandemic, many if not most schools are waiving SATs and ACTs. However, if you do exceptionally well in either, it would be worth noting in any supplementary information you send to schools.

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