Elms College student with open book

We see YOU, not just your test scores.

Here at Elms, we see you. We see that you are more than a test score. You are your thoughts and ideas, your unique personality. Your passions, your spirit, your best intentions. You are your dreams and aspirations, and you are your potential to work for a world that is more just, more accessible, more hospitable, more full of kindness. Test scores don’t reflect what makes you YOU. That’s why Elms has decided to become test-optional for most of our programs.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions. Have another? Give us a call at 413-592-3189 or email .

What does it mean to be a “test-optional” institution?

At Elms College applicants are given the option to submit or not submit their test scores as part of the admission process for most majors.

We believe a student’s high school GPA and curriculum are better predictors of long-term student success than standardized test scores. Therefore as a “test-optional” institution, we are able to broaden accessibility to students who might perform well in the classroom, but not perform well on standardized tests.

How do I tell Elms College if I am submitting my test scores or not?

When you complete your admission application (Elms Application or Common Application), you will have the opportunity to indicate whether or not you will be submitting your test scores for review.

If you indicate that you will not be submitting your scores, we will not consider them during the application review process even if they are sent or included on your transcript.
*Nursing applicants are required to submit test scores. Please see question and answer below.

Are there any students who cannot apply test-optional?

Yes, nursing applicants cannot apply test-optional and are required to submit test scores. That’s because nursing majors are required, upon graduation, to take the NCLEX exam to be licensed; this is a standardized test, so we need to know that our nursing students can succeed on such exams.

Also, if you are an international student and are applying from a country where English is not the native language you are required to submit either the TOEFL or the English version of the SAT/ACT.

How do I know if I should submit my test scores or not?

The Elms College application process is designed for you to show us the real you. If you feel confident that your standardized test scores are an accurate representation of your academic performance, we are happy to consider them as part of your application. However, if you believe your strong academic record is a better reflection of your academic achievement than your standardized test scores, you can choose not to submit them.

What if I do not submit my test scores?

The application review process for students who submit test scores and students who do not submit test scores is similar. We evaluate your academic transcript, personal essay, and letters of recommendation to get to know the real you. We’ll look at your curriculum, trend in grades, extracurricular activities, leadership roles and community engagement.

What if I change my mind about submitting test scores after I’ve already submitted my application?

That’s okay—just make sure you notify your Admission Counselor or the Office of Undergraduate Admission at . If we have already received your test scores, we will not consider them during the application review process.

Am I still eligible for merit scholarship if I do not submit my scores?

Yes, all applicants are considered for a merit-based scholarship upon acceptance to Elms College, whether or not they submit test scores.

Are transfer students required to submit test scores?

No, transfer students are not required to submit test scores including transfer nursing applicants. You are considered a transfer student if you are applying with 12 or more completed credits.

Want to learn more about why Elms College is test optional? Click here to read our full press release.

You can watch Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing Jon Scully discuss the move to test optional on a Springfield TV news show below: