UIUC Is ACT/SAT Test-Optional for 2021 Freshman Applicants

Because high school students have had limited opportunities to take the SAT or ACT during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign made the decision to go test-optional this year.

What Does Test-Optional Mean?

Test-optional means that if you’re interested in attending UIUC next fall and are applying for fall 2021 freshman admission, you’re not required to report SAT or ACT test results on our application.

Many students worry that we’ll judge their application differently based on whether they choose to report their scores or not. Rest assured, we won’t! Regardless of your decision, we’ll perform a holistic review, which you can learn more about on our website.

Should I Report My Scores?

Our advice is to report your scores if you feel they accurately represent your ability. Ultimately, do what feels more comfortable to you!

How Do I Report My Scores?

If you do choose to report your scores, you’ll be asked to self-report them on our application. You may also have official scores sent directly. You can send your scores to UIUC using our school codes: 1836 (SAT I) or 1154 (ACT). Note that we only use the highest scores you give us.

A Note for International Applicants

If you’re an international applicant, be aware that you need to demonstrate a command of the English language. This means that we may still require or strongly recommend a TOEFL or IELTS score.


If you still have questions regarding our test-optional policy, I encourage you to check out our test-optional FAQ. It has a lot of helpful information. You can also email us or call us at 217-333-0302 at any time. We admissions counselors are always here to help!



Senior Associate Director of Recruitment & Outreach, Undergraduate Admissions
I'm here to help high school students and their families navigate the college search process. An Illinois alumnus (LAS ’02), I had the honor to play football for the Orange and Blue.


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  • Hi Aaditya,
    All students are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships when they apply to UIUC. Unfortunately, need-based financial aid isn’t available to international undergraduates, although a few limited scholarships and loans exist through our International Student and Scholar Services: https://isss.illinois.edu/resources/finaid.html. If you have additional questions about financial aid, you can contact our Office of Student Financial Aid at 217-333-0100.

  • Hi Michael,
    No, this test-optional policy does not apply for transfer applicants. If you have fewer than 30 graded, transferable semester hours of college coursework when you apply, standardized test scores are required for admission review. We also highly recommend that you submit test scores if you have 30 to 59 graded credit hours. Either ACT or SAT I scores are accepted. You can learn more about how to apply as a transfer student on our website: https://admissions.illinois.edu/Apply/Transfer/process. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at admissions@illinois.edu or 217-333-0302. Thanks!

  • Hi! I’m a current high school junior and I was wondering if UIUC will remain test-optional for the class of 2026?

  • Hi Lizzy, thanks for reaching out! Currently, our test optional policy only applies for students applying for Fall 2021 (Class of 2025) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No decisions have been made as to whether we will be test optional for future years at this time. If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to email us or call us at 217-333-0302.

  • Hello I’m a current Junior in High School and highly interested in attending UIUC. I am wondering if you will still be test optional for the class of 2028?

  • Thanks for reaching out, Katia, and we’re excited you’re interested in UIUC! We are test-optional for students planning to apply for fall 2023 admission, although a decision hasn’t been made yet for future years. Continue to check our website for announcements regarding fall 2024. And if you have additional questions about UIUC or our application process, don’t hesitate to contact our office.

  • I sent my highest official SAT score, but I also self-reported my highest math score from a different sitting. Will UIUC consider my highest score from each section?

  • Hi Aditya! Yes, we will consider the highest scores earned for the total and each subscore regardless of test date or if the score was self-reported or sent officially. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact our office!