As a result of COVID-19, Rhodes decided to become test-optional in its admission process. If you do not know what “test-optional” means or feel confused about how this decision may apply to you, we encourage you to read the following FAQ. If you still have questions by the end, feel free to reach out to an admission counselor.
What does “Test Optional” mean?
“Test Optional” means that a student may choose to submit the ACT or the SAT as part of the application for admission. A standardized test score is not required to be considered for admission.
Which tests are being referenced by “Test Optional?”
“Test Optional” generally only refers to standardized entrance exams, including the ACT and the SAT. At Rhodes, it does not include English equivalency exams (i.e. IELTS) or proficiency exams following a course (i.e. AP).
Should I submit a standardized test score?
Rhodes will accept any test score submitted by a prospective student (note: if you’ve taken multiple versions of one test, we will consider only your superscore--which uses the average of your best subscores). Ultimately, this is something you will have to decide for yourself. If you believe that your score (should you have one) will strengthen your application, then that’s probably a good sign that you should submit it.
What happens if I have a test score but don’t submit it?
Rhodes has always used a holistic approach to reading applications. Your test score was only a part of the story told by your application. Without a test score, we will continue to examine your high school transcript, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and your personal statement. Greater weight will be placed on each of these areas in the absence of a test score.
To be clear, will there be a penalty for not submitting a test?
Emphatically no. We will be operating under the assumption that if a student does not submit a test score, it will be because they did not have the ability to take a test, and it would therefore be unfair to ask them to submit a score to which they did not have access
Will I be considered for merit scholarships if I don't have a test score?
Yes. We do not require a test score for admission or any of our scholarships.
Do I need a test score if I plan to participate in Division III sports?
No. To participate in athletics at Rhodes, you need only to be enrolled as a full-time student.
If I’m an International student, do I still need to take the TOEFL?
Yes. The SAT and ACT aren’t required for international students, but we still need an English-equivalency exam. We accept the TOEFL, IELTS, and the Duolingo English exam, and these test scores will be required if English is not your native language.
This requirement may be waived for those students whose academic instruction in secondary school is in English. Applicants most competitive for admission score at least a 95 on the TOEFL, a 7.0 on the IELTS, or 120 on the Duolingo English Test.
Are standardized tests required for home-schooled students or students from other non-traditional high schools?
No, but tests are recommended depending on the student’s coursework, especially if a student hasn’t taken classes that provide a broader academic context (e.g. college classes). Test scores can help provide that missing context. Additionally, after a review of a home-schooled student’s application, an interview with an admission counselor could be requested. Here is a helpful checklist of things a home-schooled student will need for their application should that be helpful.
Do you need AP, IB, and other placement exam scores?
No. These scores aren’t necessary for admission, though should a student be admitted and choose Rhodes, those scores may count towards college credit. A student may self-report these scores on their Common Application if the student feels they could strengthen their application for admission by doing so.
Students receiving their education from a non-traditional high school (such as home schools and online high schools) are recommended to self-report placement exam scores to provide additional context to their academic profile.