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Test-Flexible FAQ

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Beginning with students applying for the Fall 2016 term, Drake University will not require all applicants to submit a standardized test to be considered for admission. Most students will be able to take advantage of the new test-flexible path, which allows them to substitute the ACT or SAT with an interview as part of the application process. Eligible students must have a cumulative high school grade point average of 3.0 or higher (weighted or unweighted). Depending on the intended program of study or scholarship application, some students will be required to follow the standard path and submit either the ACT or SAT.

No matter the path, the application review will take a student’s complete record into account, including the academic rigor of the curriculum, grades earned, the quality of the essay, a letter of recommendation, extracurricular activities, leadership, work, and either the standardized test score or an interview.

By offering a test-flexible path, students will be able to showcase strengths and attributes that test scores cannot reflect. The goal of the admission process, as always, will be to offer admission to students who have demonstrated potential for success at Drake University, and this is most evidenced by a student’s strong performance in a challenging curriculum in high school. For this reason, the quality of applicants offered admission is expected to remain high, and Drake will continue to be a selective institution.

Students who are not eligible for the test-flexible path include:

  • Pre-Pharmacy applicants
  • Pre-Athletic Training applicants
  • Pre-Occupational Therapy applicants
  • National Alumni Scholarship applicants
  • Home-schooled students
  • Incoming first-year students with a GPA below 3.0

Transfer students with less than 24 college credit hours can choose either the test-flexible or standard admission pathway. 

Test-Flexible Path FAQs

Why is Drake University offering a test-flexible path in the application process?

Drake University has always reviewed student applications in an individualized and holistic manner. Within that review, the quality of a student’s transcript, particularly the GPA and rigor of the curriculum, is weighed most heavily and serves as the best indicator for success in college.

We recognize that performance on a standardized test or a written application will not fully represent a student’s qualifications for admission to Drake. As a university, we have made the decision to let each student decide how best to present his or her academic strengths, skills, and attributes in the application process. The test-flexible path allows for Drake to consider a student’s potential for success, which may be demonstrated in areas other than an ACT or SAT score.

Can all applicants choose the test-flexible path?

Any students who have achieved a high school cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (weighted or unweighted) are able to choose the test-flexible path in the application process. However, there are a few exceptions. The following students must apply through the standard path that requires submission of an official ACT or SAT score report:

  • Pre-Pharmacy applicants
  • Pre-Occupational Therapy applicants
  • Pre-Athletic Training applicants
  • National Alumni Scholarship applicants
  • Home-schooled students

Transfer applicants with fewer than 24 college credit hours can choose either the standard or test-flexible path.

How do I decide which path is best for me?

When completing the application for admission, students will be asked if they wish to follow the standard path or the test-flexible path. For those students pursuing the test-flexible path, an interview will be required in lieu of submitting an ACT or SAT score. If you feel as though an interview would allow you to provide more insight into your potential for success at Drake, then you may wish to choose the test-flexible path. You may also wish to take the profile of the class entering Drake in Fall 2015 into account: The average ACT score was 27, and the average SAT score (critical reading and math only) was 1198.

How will Drake evaluate students who do not submit test scores?

As with all applications, Drake takes a holistic approach to application review. The University considers a student’s transcript, essay, counselor/teacher recommendation, activities, and leadership as it seeks to enroll students with the greatest potential for success at Drake. Test-flexible candidates will be asked to complete an interview, which will be considered in lieu of the test score.

Will I be disadvantaged in the admission process if I choose the test-flexible path?

Students following the test-flexible path will be given full, complete, and equal consideration for admission, just as with students who choose the standard path.

At what point can an interview be scheduled?

Once your Drake application, which includes an essay, and an official transcript are received by the Office of Admission, an interview may be scheduled.  To complete your application, the High School Report or a letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor or teacher must also be submitted to the Office of Admission.

How can I set up an interview?

Your admission counselor will contact you to set up your interview after your application for admission with essay and official transcript are received in the Office of Admission.   Interviews can be scheduled during a campus visit, at a time your admission counselor will be in your local area, or via Skype or Facetime.

What will the interview be like?

Students will be interviewed by a member of the Office of Admission team, most frequently with the applicant’s admission counselor. While it is our preference that these interviews take place on campus so students may fully benefit from the Drake visit experience, arrangements can be made to complete these interviews through Skype or Facetime or when the admission counselor is in an applicant’s local area. The interview will be completed with the applicant only and will address a student’s experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.

Will additional essays be required?

No, one essay is required of all applicants regardless of path. Additional essays are not required for students pursuing the test-flexible path.

Will any SAT subject test be required for admission consideration?

Drake does not require the SAT subject test for admission.

If I am a home-schooled student, will I be required to submit a standardized test?

Yes, home-schooled students are required to submit either an official ACT or SAT score report.

Can international students choose the test-flexible path?

International students who have achieved a high school cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (approximately a “B” average) are able to choose either the test-flexible path or the standard path the application process. Students who have achieved a high school grade point average of less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale are asked to either submit an official SAT or ACT score report or request an interview.

The following students, however, must apply through the standard path that requires submission of an official ACT or SAT score report:

  • Pre-Pharmacy applicants
  • Pre-Occupational Therapy applicants
  • Pre-Athletic Training applicants
  • National Alumni Scholarship applicants
  • Home-schooled students

Drake also requires submission of the TOEFL or IELTS as proof of language proficiency. Conditional admission is offered to most programs of study. Please refer to the application instructions for further details.

What if my high school sends test scores when I’ve chosen the test-flexible path?

If a student opts for the test-flexible path, any scores reported on the high school transcript will not be considered in the admission decision, and the student will be contacted to schedule the required interview.

Can I change to or from the test-flexible path at any point in the application process?

When you submit your application to Drake (either via the Common Application or Drake’s online application), you will be asked to indicate if you would like to pursue the test-flexible path. Once we receive your application with your declared intent, we will consider that your committed path. As such, you are strongly encouraged to carefully consider your decision prior to submission of your application since you will be unable to change paths.

However, if you have initially chosen the test-flexible path and later decide to apply for the Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Athletic Training programs or a scholarship program that requires a test score such as the National Alumni Scholarship, you may change your path and submit your ACT or SAT score report. Please contact your admission counselor in this situation.

Will I still be considered for an academic scholarship if I choose the test-flexible path?

Students applying by either the standard or test-flexible path will be given full and equal consideration for the Presidential Scholarship. As this scholarship is awarded only at the point of admission, no change will be made if a request to include or withdraw a standardized test score report is made at a later date.

Students who are eligible for the National Alumni Scholarship must complete the standard path and submit the qualifying test scores.

Will I still be considered for the Honors Program if I choose the test-flexible path?

Yes.  Once admitted to Drake University, test-flexible applicants will be invited to apply for the Honors Program. Test scores are not required because application to the program is based on specific writing samples.

Do I need to submit my test scores for placement or statistical purposes once I accept the offer of admission?

If you apply to Drake University via the test-flexible path, you will not be required to submit test scores at any time, including post admission or at the point of enrollment.

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