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Can I study abroad without taking the SAT or ACT?

For the US

Yes, you can study abroad without taking the SAT or ACT. For international students though, it is highly suggested that you take one of the SAT and ACT.  Colleges will definitely prefer students with a score over a student without a score. The score will help the college assess the student, and set them apart from the rest of the candidates.

The SAT and ACT are primarily used in the admissions processes in the US. For undergraduate admissions in the US, several universities are now becoming test-optional. Meaning that these colleges will still accept submissions with your score, but will no longer be a prerequisite. They don’t require submission of either of the two standardized tests. These test-optional colleges are NYU, Trinity College, University of California, UChicago, Parsons, etc. However, it still remains a requirement at certain colleges. These colleges being the Ivy Leagues, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Stanford.

The Rest of the World

Most countries in the rest of the world, in Europe, Australia, and Asia do not require them. It is important to note that colleges in other countries could require different standardized tests. These tests are often specific to the course. Taking the SAT will also help to serve as an indicator of your abilities to colleges in these countries as well.

Even though in order to study in the US the SAT and ACT are not always required, a good score can open doors to a myriad of colleges. A good score will always uphold your application in test-optional colleges and set you apart from your peers. In addition, these test scores provide the colleges with a common data-point to compare the academic abilities of all their applicants. So even though you can study abroad without taking the SAT, a standardized test like the SAT or ACT is incredibly beneficial and ensures you have the most options available.