ACT and SAT information for freshman admission
A complete application to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities requires an official score from either the ACT or SAT. Each exam offers an optional writing exam, which we recommend that students take. The writing test results are considered as a secondary factor. Admission decisions are based on an overall assessment of the primary and secondary review factors.
Both ACT and SAT will send your scores free of charge to the first four schools you list when you register for the test. We will always consider the best composite score (from a single test) you submit, so we strongly encourage you to list the U of M as one of the schools to receive your official score each time you sit for an ACT or SAT exam.
ACT and SAT registration information
Your official test scores must be sent directly to the University of Minnesota, using one of the codes listed below:
U of M test code: 2156
U of M test code: 6874
The ACT Assessment includes an optional 30-minute Writing Test. More information about the ACT Assessment and the Writing Test is available at www.actstudent.org/index.html.
- The University of Minnesota Twin Cities recommends taking the writing exam with the ACT, but will consider the application complete without the writing score.
About the New SAT and SAT Writing
Beginning in March 2016, College Board is offering "the new SAT" in place of its previous SAT exam. The new SAT offers the essay portion as a separate component, and scores will change to a scale of 1600 instead of the previous 2400. College Board offers a detailed comparison of the old and new exams.
- The University of Minnesota Twin Cities recommends taking the writing exam with the SAT, but will consider the application complete without the writing score.
- If you took the "old" SAT, you do not need to retake the exam under its new format; we accept scores from either format.
In approaching this prompt, try to think of it as straightforwardly as possible; the university wants to briefly know what your reasoning behind studying your major is, and whether you are considering other fields as well. You only have 150 words, so keep your answer succinct.
That being said, steer away from generic answers, such as “I like biology.” Write about why you enjoy a certain subject: Why do you have a personal connection to it? For instance, if an applicant were to write about biology, he or she could explain that biology is a way of understanding how the world works and functions, from an amoeba moving using pseudopods to a friend devouring a hamburger.
Explain why the subject is significant to you personally. Does it allow you to have a clearer understanding of your environment? Is it a way of expressing yourself and your thoughts? Does it allow you to understand others and yourself more fully? There are countless ways of thinking of why the topic is important to you and your life, as well as your surroundings. Avoid at all costs speaking about money or prestige — the admissions officers want to see that you are genuinely passionate about what you do or want to pursue.
If you have another major you are considering, split the 150 words to devote enough time to both subjects. Explain why both subjects are interesting to you, and if you have any space left, you may want to write about how the subjects relate to each other, and why studying one gives you a deeper understanding of the other. This will tie the essay together, and give a clearer picture to admissions officers as to why you would like to pursue both.
For instance, a student could first write about studying mathematics, then follow-up with writing about art as a second interest, and end with how mathematics influences art in symmetry, space, and perspective, and how the study of mathematics is necessary for creating art.
Remember, answer the question honestly and with what you genuinely want to study. There are no loopholes in the essay prompt — be direct, concise, and specific.