The SAT, ACT, and Recommended Exams FAQs

Who needs to take the SAT Reasoning Test and/or ACT with writing?

All freshman applicants will be required to submit results from one of the two tests.

Does Northwestern require the optional writing portion of the ACT?


Does Northwestern prefer to receive results from one test rather than the other?

No. Results from either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT with writing or both can be submitted to Northwestern as part of an applicant's record.

Will Northwestern receive my test scores automatically?

No. Students must request that scores be sent officially to Northwestern. The Northwestern SAT Reasoning Test code is 1565; the ACT code is 1106.

Does Northwestern require results from SAT Subject Tests?

Northwestern recommends that all applicants take two SAT Subject Tests but requires scores from SAT Subject Tests only for applicants to the Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME), the Integrated Science Program (ISP), and applicants who have been home-schooled. See the chart below for specific exam requirements for these special programs.

Required SAT Subject Tests

In addition to SAT Reasoning Test or ACT with writing results, the following SAT Subject Tests are required of freshmen applicants who fall into these categories:

HPME Chemistry and Math Level 2
ISP Chemistry, Physics and Math Level 2
Home-schooled Math Level 1 or 2, plus two other SAT Subject Tests of the applicant's choice from different areas (i.e. not two science or two foreign language or two history, etc.)

Do Illinois residents who have taken the Prairie State Exam which includes the ACT with writing need to take a separate ACT with writing to apply as a freshman?

We accept the Prairie State Exam for those applicants who took the test prior to 2012 when a writing section was included.  Applicants who have taken the Prarie State Exam since the writing section was dropped will need to submit either the ACT with writing or SAT exam results to fulfill the standardized test requirement.