SAT and ACT scores for seniors who are starting their application process may not be required

Isa Grunwaldt, Staff Writer

College admissions are stressful and extensive, and so is studying for and taking required standardized tests. This year, along with all the other changes to the lives of students, college admissions have also changed. The ACT and SAT are no longer required by most colleges, and this has undoubtedly affected how students approach these tests. 

Usually, by this time, every Senior would have taken the SAT through the school at least one time. This year, all the seniors will be taking potentially their first SAT test on Sept. 23, a date half a year after the initial date, and fast approaching. For students who have only taken the ACT, this could be a very different ballgame. 

Ben Sykes ‘21 is one of those people who have only taken the ACT before. He believes that the SAT will be a hindrance to his performance since he hasn’t prepared for that specific test as much. “The SAT is a bit of a joke in the way the structure questions and pick passages.”

Many students have wondered what this will mean for college admissions and how they will balance student applications with and without test scores since usually, they are entire admissions steps in of themselves.

“This change will certainly make college admissions much more holistic and give more people a better chance at being admitted” Xiangyu Chen ‘21 stated. “For people who don’t submit their test, a much higher emphasis will be placed on other factors such as extracurricular activities and course rigor.” Sykes also believes “it will affect scholarship opportunity consideration.” 

Included in how test scores are going to be weighed against non-test score applicants, there is also the question of how colleges will see the test scores of those who wanted to or could submit them. Could submitting a test score be a hindrance to getting in versus a person exactly the same but without a test score in their application? How much more will submitting a test score and taking the test really help admission chances?

“They will see [my test scores] as a supplement to my GPA and other metrics, and preferably a measure of what I’m actually capable of,” Sykes answered. The “change certainly made me less worried about standardized test scores, as if I do not like my scores, I do not need to submit them,” Chen said.

Finally, for some college applicants, this change to optional test policy sounds like a great deal, and their determination to score well may have slipped, although, for Sykes, the change has “given me more time to get ready,” and Chen agrees that “a good score will still be considered by colleges and help me improve my chances of getting admitted.”