SAT - ACT: Take it, or go Test Optional?

"UNC System won't require SAT or ACT test scores in fall 2022" The Charlotte Observer, May 28, 2021, front page.

The headline may even be a little confusing, but the message can definitely be confusing.

The story is that the UNC System universities will not require SAT or ACT test scores for students completing an application to attend college beginning with the fall semester, 2022. Primarily, that means rising high school seniors (fall 2021, 12th graders).

The operative verb is "require." It does not mean that a score report will not be considered. In fact, ΒΆ3 reads, "students can still submit . . . scores with their applications." For those of us who are English majors, the sentence should have used "may" rather than "can." Okay, sorry; we English majors are compulsive like that.

As I have written elsewhere, no particular score will get you into a college, and no particular score will keep you out. What the colleges are seeking is multiple points of relevant data to help evaluate the candidate. If you have a test score, and if it is decent, why not include that information with your application.

SAT and ACT Test optional
Here's an example from last fall, when test scores were also optional. My student took the SAT, not having taken a test prep class, and scored 1290 (660 Math, 630 Reading). He was in the midst of taking a test prep class with the goal of improving his score to (aggregate) 1410+. Then COVID hit and, well, you know the rest.

We submitted the 1290 and, in additional information, mentioned to planned test prep and score goal. The young man was awarded a Letter of Acceptance to every college to which he applied. He was thrilled when, the last of the five letters was from his first choice of colleges.

Would he have been admitted anyway? That's a question with no answer. It is also obvious, however, that his 1290 did not hurt. Furthermore, his stated goal (1410+) demonstrated the virtues of persistence and achievement. I am aware that virtues like achievement are currently out-of-fashion. You may want to receive my "List Of Important Questions to Ask" as you make your college list. You can receive that free download by clicking here.

In conclusion, if you are able to test, do so. It will give you valuable information, if nothing else. Your meritorious test results will also provide the colleges to which you apply another, favorable data point to evaluate you as a candidate.

Posted in College Planning, College Planning Strategies. Tagged as ACT, SAT, Test Optional.

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