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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will continue the test optional pilot program started last year, which makes submitting ACT or SAT scores as part of the admissions process optional for prospective students.

UT launched a one-year test-optional pilot process in July 2020, to help prospective students as testing companies and centers suspended ACT and SAT testing during the pandemic.

In order to collect more information to evaluate the program, the university will continue the pilot for up to five more years with an annual evaluation after each academic year. As the university learns more through the pilot, the program may be refined or suspended.

Universities across the country are increasingly making standardized test scores optional. Whether standardized tests scores are submitted, or prospective students choose the test-optional pilot process, UT utilizes a holistic application review process to evaluate each applicant’s college readiness and preparation to contribute in positive ways to the campus community. Academic and non-academic evaluation criteria include GPA, high school coursework, leadership, community engagement, critical thinking, and intellectual curiosity.

Students may still choose to submit ACT or SAT scores as part of the holistic review. Nearly 70 percent of applicants for the upcoming academic year provided standardized test scores.

All applicants, regardless of test score submission, will be considered for Honors and Scholars programs and applicable scholarships if their application is submitted and completed by the appropriate deadline.

More details about the admissions process are available on the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website.


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,