Test-Optional FAQ

Test-Optional FAQ

Drake University does not require all applicants to submit a standardized test to be considered for admission. When applying to Drake, students have the option to choose a Test-Optional Pathway for admission. 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, extracurricular activities, leadership, and/or work. By offering a Test-Optional Path, students can showcase strengths and attributes that test scores cannot reflect. Applicants may choose to complete an essay or an admission interview, in lieu of submitting a test score.

Test-Optional Path FAQs

Why is Drake University offering a Test-Optional pathway in the application process?

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 allow each student to decide how best to present his or her academic strengths, skills, and attributes in the application process. The Test-Optional pathway allows for Drake to consider a student’s potential for success, which may be demonstrated in areas other than an ACT or SAT score.

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, activities, and leadership as it seeks to enroll students with the greatest potential for success at Drake. Test-Optional candidates will be asked to complete either an essay or an interview, which will be considered in lieu of the test score.

What can I expect if I apply Test-Optional and choose to complete an interview? How can I set up my interview?

If you choose to complete an interview (instead of an essay), your interview will be conducted with a Drake Admission Counselor. Interviews are typically around 30 minutes in length and will be a discussion about your high school or college (transfer student) experiences and how they have prepared you for Drake.

An admission interview can be completed virtually or in-person. Your Admission Counselor will contact you to schedule your interview after you have submitted your application and all required documents.

What can I expect if I apply Test-Optional and choose to submit an essay?

Essays are an optional part of the Drake application. If you choose to complete the Test-Optional pathway, you may choose either to submit an essay or an admission inteview. Should you choose the essay, you will have multiple open-ended essay prompt options provided within the Drake Application or the Common Application. You may choose to answer any of these essay prompts.

Can international students choose the Test-Optional pathway?

Yes; the Test-Optional pathway is an option for all students. However, applicants must meet minimum English proficiency and submit proof to the Office of Admission (not required for English-speaking countries).  Please refer to the application instructions for further details.

If I choose the Test-Optional Path, but have already sent my ACT/SAT scores to Drake, will they be reviewed with my application?

No. Students who choose the Test-Optional pathway will be reviewed for admission based on their application materials, including transcript(s) and an essay or interview. Students who have already sent their test scores to Drake but choose the Test-Optional path will have those scores removed from their file.

Can I change to, or from, the Test-Optional 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 if you wish to submit your test scores, or not, as a part of your application review. 

  • If you choose to submit your score, you will be on the Test Score pathway. An official ACT or SAT will be a required part of your required application materials checklist.
  • If you choose not to submit your test score, you will be on the Test-Optional pathway. You will then indicate if you will fufill the essay or admission interview instead. Your choice will be a part of your required application materials checklist.

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-Optional path and later decide to apply for a scholarship program that requires a test score, you may change your path and submit your ACT or SAT score report. Please contact your admission counselor in this situation.

Will applying through the Test-Optional Pathway impact my scholarship consideration?

Students who apply through the Test-Optional Pathway and are admitted to Drake University will be automatically reviewed for the Presidential Scholarship, Drake’s primary academic scholarship, at time of admission.

Students who apply through the Test-Optional Pathway are given equal consideration for the Presidential Scholarships to those students who apply through the Test Pathway. The Presidential Scholarship is awarded based on the strength of a student’s full application, regardless of application pathway. Some other Drake scholarships may have more specific criteria that include minimum test scores. For a full list of scholarships, visit www.drake.edu/scholarships. 



If I decide to attend Drake, will I need to submit test scores for placement or statistical purposes?

No. If you apply to Drake using the Test-Optional path, you will not be required to submit test scores at any time, including post admission or at the point of enrollment.