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Revised Standardized Testing Policy

Standardized Testing Policy for International Applicants for 2021

Pepperdine University is now test optional for undergraduate international students and US students studying outside of the United States for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Given the widespread cancellation of standardized test-taking opportunities around the world this spring and uncertainty about future test dates, Pepperdine University will allow prospective undergraduate international students to apply with or without standardized test results. Students that have already taken the exams and feel the examinations enhance their application are welcome to submit self-reported scores for admissions consideration.

The University has always utilized a multi-factor review process emphasizing academic achievement and rigor, leadership and community service, essays, and letters of recommendation. Although formerly required, standardized exams were reviewed in their context and not deemed equivalent to a student's academic performance in their own education system. The rigor of the curriculum and performance is already the most critical component of the academic review and many education systems have equivalent exams, such as AP and IB, GCE Advanced Levels, French Baccalauréat, Indian Higher Secondary School Certificate, etc.

Proof of English proficiency will still be required from all international applicants. This may be demonstrated by one of the following:

  • SAT I Evidence-Based Reading and Writing of 500 and above
  • ACT Reading score of 24 and above
  • Internet-Based TOEFL score of 80 and above - *Please note that Pepperdine does not accept TOEFL "MyBest Scores"
  • C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency (Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency) of 186 and above
  • Duolingo English Test score of 105 and above
  • IELTS Academic score of 6.5 and above
  • A "C" or better in a transferable English Composition course (not ESL) at an accredited US college or university
  • A "C" or better on the UK system AS or A-Level English Exams (not ESL), or Hong Kong system HKALE English Exam
  • The ELS Language Centers' Master level 112 class with a grade of B or higher
  • IB 1 English grade result of 5 or better (not ESL)
  • 4 years of study at a high school in which English is the medium of instruction - subject to verification by an admissions counselor