Standardized Tests (ACT/SAT) for Freshman Admission
TCU requires freshman applicants (US citizens and permanent residents) to submit either the ACT (with or without writing) or SAT. SAT Subject Tests are not required.
International freshman applicants (and transfer applicants with fewer than 24 transferable credit hours) are required to submit either the ACT or SAT if one of the following conditions is met:
- English is the student’s native language.
- The student attends a school where English is the primary language of instruction.
- The student wishes to be considered for academic scholarships.
Beginning in March of 2016 The College Board will administer a redesigned SAT. TCU will accept either version of the SAT. The essay portion of the new SAT will be optional.
TCU “super scores” both ACT and SAT meaning if a student takes an exam more than once, we will create the highest possible composite score from sub scores across multiple administrations. SAT tests taken before March 2016 cannot be super scored with SAT tests taken March 2016 and after due to the change in formatting.
The role of standardized tests in admission to TCU
- Opportunity to exhibit potential for academic success
- Considered alongside other academic credentials – no minimum score
At TCU, our goal is to use testing to give you every possible opportunity to exhibit potential for academic success. ACT or SAT scores are helpful because they provide a similar scale of performance for all applicants on a nationally standardized exam. We do not look at scores in isolation, however. Instead, we consider the test scores alongside your other academic credentials such as high school course selection, grades in high school, class rank if available, any college coursework completed, and teacher recommendations. Consequently, there are no ‘cut-scores’ which would either guarantee or prevent admission to TCU.
What test scores you should submit with your application
- Submit either ACT or SAT – no preference
- Take the test prior to the application deadline – even if scores will arrive a bit later
- Report all SAT and/or ACT scores you have earned
If you’re applying as a freshman to TCU, you must submit the results of at least one ACT or SAT Reasoning Test. We have no preference which test you submit; each test is considered with equal importance. You should talk with your high school counselor if you are unsure which test to take. For the ACT, we recommend but do not require the writing/essay portion of the exam. If you are admitted and decide to enroll at TCU, we would require your official test scores from the testing agency at that time.
You should plan to take the test prior to the appropriate application deadline. In some cases, your scores will not be available until after the deadline – as long as you’ve requested the scores be sent to TCU when you registered for the exam, we will receive them in time to consider them as part of your application.
Does TCU accept self-reported scores
TCU requires official test scores from enrolled students. Applicants may self-report their test scores. Official scores are ones that are reported to TCU directly from the testing agency (www.collegeboard.org or www.actstudent.org) or that accompany an official high school transcript and bear the seal/signature of the high school registrar or counselor. Once a student enrolls at TCU, they must submit their official test scores from the testing agency if they did not already do so during the application process.
How we use your test scores when reading your application
- SAT: Highest Section – highest CR, highest M and highest W (Super-Score)*
- ACT: Highest Section – highest English, highest Math, highest Reading, highest Science (Super-Score)
- Better of SAT or ACT, if you submit both
- SAT Subject Tests not required
At TCU, we want to give you the benefit of having taken a test more than once. We encourage you to send scores from all of the tests you have taken. We will look at the best scores using the methods described below.
If you submit scores from more than one sitting of the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT, we will consider your highest section scores across multiple sittings or test dates (“Super-Score”). We will consider your highest Math, your highest Critical Reading and your highest Writing scores even if you earn them on separate test dates for the SAT. We will consider your highest English, Math, Reading, and Science scores even if you earn them on separate test dates for the ACT. Please submit your scores from all test dates that include a highest score on one of the three sections of the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT. If you’re not sure, you should submit all scores.
SAT tests taken before March 2016 cannot be super scored with SAT tests taken March 2016 and after due to the change in formatting.
If you submit scores from both the SAT Reasoning Test and the ACT, we will compare your best on each test (according to the methods described above), and then we will consider the score which most benefits your application for admission.
TCU does not require you to submit scores from any SAT Subject Tests, though you may wish to do so if you feel they will enhance your application for admission.
TCU does not consider the results of the PSAT, PLAN or any state-administered exam (e.g. TAKS) in admission decisions.
*Beginning in March of 2016 The College Board will administer a redesigned SAT. TCU will accept either version of the SAT. The essay portion of the new SAT will be optional.
What scores are competitive for admission
At TCU, we consider your ACT or SAT scores in the context of your entire application. Therefore, we do not have a certain score that will guarantee admission nor do we have a certain scores that would automatically prevent admission.
The Enrolled Student Profile includes a mid-50 percent SAT score range of 1160-1360, and a mid-50 percent ACT score range of 26-30.
These mid-50 percent ranges represent scores that are generally considered competitive for admission when accompanied by other criteria that indicate potential academic success. This means that 25 percent of TCU freshmen scored below 1160 or 26, and 25 percent of our freshmen score above 1360 or 30. Half of them, or 50 percent, scored in the middle of this range.