Testing Policy

Testing Policy


Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19, Houghton will increase the flexibility in its testing policy. Houghton operated as test-optional prior to the pandemic and will continue to work individually with students so that they can present the information that best informs the admission committee of their ability to thrive at Houghton College.


At Houghton College, we recognize that students are more than just a test score. This is why we employ a holistic application review process which entails reading each admission file in its entirety.

Through research and reflection, we found that standardized test scores may not always be the best representation for each and every applicant's fit for Houghton College. As such, we now allow students the freedom to choose whether or not to submit standardized test scores. Note that our test-optional approach is not meant to discourage students from taking a standardized test as there may be circumstances, such as some of those listed below, in which submitting a test score is beneficial.

We have further expanded our test options to now include the Classic Learning Test (CLT), an innovative new college entrance exam.

According to fairtest.org, half (and growing!) of the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation are test optional. Houghton is proud to join the list of schools that allow students to decide whether or not to include test scores in their admission file.

Special notes on testing policy:

  • While not required, students may want to consider submitting standardized test to receive consideration for Honors at Houghton
  • Students for whom English is not a first language must submit a test of English proficiency
  • They are applying for consideration for the LECOM medical school or University of Buffalo Pharmacy programs.

Other important notes about Houghton’s test optional policy

  • Individual departments will reserve the ability to require test scores as related to individual accreditation policies for those areas/programs (e.g. education department) and/or entrance criteria for the program (e.g. engineering program).
  • The Admission Committee will continue to reserve the right, through the waitlist process, to request additional information from applicants who fall below expected academic markers. This includes the possibility of requesting, but not limited to: test scores, mid-year report, and/or an admission interview.