Why SAT and ACT Scores Still Matter as Test-Optional Choices Rise

Friday, May 12, 2023

In the past several years, testing policies have varied wildly across the U.S. admissions landscape. While it was once a given that applicants would submit their test scores with their college applications, students now may be wondering whether it is still worthwhile to take the ACT or SAT exam. Keep reading to find out why it is in many applicants’ best interest to submit a standardized test score — even if the school does not require it.

Test-Optional Doesn’t Mean Test-Blind

While it is true that a fair number of schools have retained test-optional admissions for the upcoming application cycle, that doesn’t equate with being completely blind to applicants’ test scores. Instead, the role that SAT or ACT scores play in a student’s chance of admission has evolved: while scores are no longer a requirement at many colleges, that doesn’t mean that they won’t have an impact on students’ admissions odds. In fact, admissions officers are likely to look favorably upon applicants with compelling SAT or ACT scores. SAT and ACT scores that fall within or above your best-fit colleges’ desired score range will continue to be an asset during your admissions cycle. 

Maximize Your Options

While it is true that an influx of colleges made the move to test-optional admissions in 2020, many have since reversed those policies and more continue to do so every year. Every school’s policies and approach are different. For example, a large proportion of schools only implemented their test optional policies for one admissions cycle. Consequently, if a student ultimately decided to take a gap year, they might need to submit SAT or ACT scores during the following admissions cycle. Some other colleges never made the move to test-optional policies, meaning that standardized testing requirements still apply. Ultimately, having an SAT or ACT score that you are proud of opens doors. Test scores can round out your applications, ensure that you meet the requirements for every college on your best-fit list, and add additional context to your overall academic profile. 

While policies may change from once admissions cycle to the next, at the end of the day the same guiding rules will still apply. College admissions officers are looking for passionate and compelling students who will make an impact on campus and those who possess the requisite grades and standardized testing scores to gain admission.

As a result, every applicant should strive to attain test scores that they are proud of, whether they are required by your best-fit college or not. If you are looking to boost your SAT or ACT scores, our team of expert tutors can help you refine your study habits and achieve your testing goals. Contact us today to see how.


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