Updated: Mar 16, 2021
Schools continue to evaluate offering test-optional admissions, students should look at the overall strength of their application before bailing on standardized tests. Test-optional is not necessarily the panacea students may think but can be a tool in the student's arsenal.
We will continue to guide on this topic during this ever-changing landscape, but for now...
Academic Strength - Students applying test-optional should have strength in their course rigor, GPA, teacher recommendation letters, and AP scores (when applicable.)
Non-Academic Strength - Students applying test-optional should also have strength in presenting their genuine interests, goals, values, and traits using their activity lists and essays to prove why and how they will be successful in college.
Other Factors - Test optional is a tool used to expand educational opportunities. If a student's background does not include an underrepresented population (race, geography, first-generation college student) or does not bring an exceptional talent (music, athletics,) then excluding standardized tests to prove you will be successful in college may not be the best path.
Admissions vs. Merit Scholarships - If you are applying to medium size or traditional private colleges and need merit scholarships for affordability, don't eliminate preparing for the SAT/ACT. While a school might be test-optional for admission, merit scholarships might still require strong SAT/ACT scores.
Test-Optional List - You can Click Here to see a current list as of today for Test-Optional schools. This report includes schools that have been test-optional and schools that have adjusted their policies for future admission cycles.
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