Applying Test Optional  

  • Ted Yoder ’12 works out some computations in the Hackman Physical Sciences Building, where he laid the groundwork for his current pursuit of a Ph.D. in physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Students who do not believe their standardized test scores reflect their academic ability are encouraged to submit two graded writing samples to Franklin & Marshall College in lieu of standardized test scores.

Students choosing the Standardized Test Option are required to submit two recent  (junior or senior year) graded writing samples (creative or analytical), preferably from a Humanities or social science course.  The samples should include the teacher’s comments, grades, and descriptions of the assignments.

Students may request that their high school delete their scores from their transcript. All transcripts for students choosing this option will be examined prior to their inclusion in the application folders, and any scores that are included will be deleted before applications are reviewed by the Admission Committee.

After we receive their Common Application, students will be provided with a F&M Application Portal login. All materials in electronic format with teacher comments (ex. PDF,  Word), should be uploaded to the portal by selecting "SAT Option Writing Samples" from the drop down menu.  All materials in paper format should be sent to the Admission Office by FAX (717-358-4389) or mail (Office of Admission, PO Box 3003, Lancaster, PA 17604).

Please notify us by email if  there is a change in your decision to submit or not submit your test scores. 


Note to our transfer applicants

Transfer applicants using the Standardized Test Option must submit two graded writing samples from college-level coursework.


Note to our international applicants

Students who choose to utilize the Standardized Test Option in lieu of their SAT or ACT scores will be required to submit two recent (junior or senior year) graded writing samples (creative or analytical), preferably from a Humanities or social science course.  These samples MUST be written in English (not translated) and should also include teachers’ comments (also in English), grades and a description of the assignment.  If unable to provide required samples as stated above, the student must submit test scores.

International Student Application Information

If You Choose to Submit SAT or ACT Scores....

You may choose to submit SAT or ACT test scores as part of the application process, and if you do, F&M will "superscore" the results.  For the SAT, we combine the best critical reading score and the best math score received, even if they come from different test dates.  For the ACT, we take the highest Math, Science, Reading and English score from any tests a student takes, even if on multiple dates, and average them for a new ACT composite score.

If you are submitting SAT/ACT scores, official results must come directly from The College Board (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT). Test scores will also be received if listed on the official high school transcript. 

  • F&M SAT code number: 2261

  • F&M ACT code number: 3574

High School Seniors:
F&M and the New SAT

The Facts

The College Board recently made significant design and scoring changes to the SAT exam. Implementation of the redesigned test began with the rollout of the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) in October 2015. The New SAT was recently launched in March 2016.

The new SAT scoring system will consist of an overall composite score based on a scale of 400-1600. Additional section scores and subscores will indicate performance in several academic areas. The essay portion of the new SAT is now optional.

F&M's Policy on the New SAT

In response to the changes made by the College Board, Franklin & Marshall College will accept test scores taken in either SAT test format for all Class of 2017 and Class of 2018 high school graduates. It is expected that Class of 2019 high school graduates will take the test in its new format, with exceptions granted on a case-by-case basis. Class of 2016 high school graduates should be largely unaffected by changes to the SAT, although applicants with special circumstances should contact the F&M Admission Office.

The essay section of the New SAT will be optional as part of the F&M application process. 

What Will Stay the Same

F&M will continue its policy of super-scoring the “section scores” of the SAT exam. However, the College will not superscore between the old and new SAT formats. 

It should also noted that F&M will continue to offer the Standardized Test Option for all  students. The ACT (American College Test) is also an alternative standardized test option available to applicants and is accepted interchangeably with the SAT


F&M SAT Guideline Summary (2016-2019)


Class of 2017 HS Graduates

New or Old SAT Format


Class of 2018 HS Graduates

New or Old SAT Format


Class of 2019 HS Graduates

New SAT Format (contact us if you have special circumstances)

Transfer Applicants

New or Old SAT Format, if HS graduation date is 2018 or earlier


F&M will be as flexible as possible over the next few years with regard to our SAT policies, and we will adjust our policies based on the best available research regarding the overall effectiveness of the new SAT format. Any changes to our policies will be posted on our website in a timely manner.