Skip to main content

Is "test optional" really an option?

 To take a standardized test (ACT/SAT) or not: that is the big question these days. 


In this new “test-optional” world we’re living in, does it really make a difference if your child takes the SAT or ACT? In a short answer, it does, and not just because there is a test prep tutor writing this blog. 


When the pandemic hit and test dates were canceled worldwide, over 700 universities went test optional for Fall 2021 applicants. Some of those schools are now announcing 1 or 2-year extensions on the policy, begging the question of whether the SAT and ACT are on their way out. The SAT has already ended their subject tests and optional essay section, citing that the application essays and AP exams offer colleges a view of the student’s abilities in those departments. (Don’t worry, we’ll discuss both of those in later blog posts or you can email Hillary with questions!)


Here’s the reality: your child may not need a test score to be admitted to the college of their choice. But many colleges are still using those scores to help determine merit scholarships, honors program admissions, or direct admission to nursing, business, or engineering programs.


The other piece that schools aren’t advertising is that no test score means additional supplements to the application process. The class of 2021 was asked to do everything from writing additional essays to submitting graded work from their high school classes in place of those missing test scores. Our 2021 grads were also more likely to be deferred from target colleges if they had no score, meaning it’s entirely likely that if given two equal applicants, colleges are still weighing test scores as a piece of the puzzle.


As with everything in this college process, the right answer is a very individualized one. If you’re interested in what “test-optional” would mean for you, please reach out and let us help you make an informed decision!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Show Me The Money (and by money, I mean financial aid)

Applications are in, acceptances are starting to arrive. Now, the question becomes how to pay for it all: books, room & board, food, and tuition plus all the extras. It can feel overwhelming. It’s not a secret that a college education is costly. The conversation regarding student debt is one that is constantly in the news, and while a degree is going to be important for almost every career path, there is no reason to take on more debt than you actually need to.  Here are a few of our favorite tips: Get that FAFSA done. It’s frustrating because it’s really only one view of your family’s finances, but it is absolutely necessary to qualify for aid. Don’t be afraid to make a phone call. Colleges give you financial aid packages based on the information in front of them. If your situation is a little different, or if there’s something that the FAFSA isn’t presenting well, don’t be afraid to call your top school’s financial aid office and ask to discuss things further. Find out if work-st

November 2020 Notes

     As we monitor the Covid numbers locally, please note that Fairchild will go fully virtual following the Thanksgiving break and the office in Sandy Spring will be closed. If you have a tutor coming to your home, please touch base with Hillary as soon as possible to discuss a plan. Hillary will still offer practice tests in office on Sunday mornings.  Please make sure, whether in home or in the office, that ALL children and adults must wear well fitting masks when they are with a tutor.   Important Holiday Scheduling Updates: We know the schedule gets challenging this time of year, please let us know as soon as possible about changes to your schedules so we can adjust on our end.  We will be CLOSED the following dates for the Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays, reopening permanently in our NEW office in Highland.  Nov: 25th - 29th Dec: 23st - Jan 2nd Limited test prep and college guidance appointments will be available during the Christmas break. Traditional 1:1 Tutoring: Tutorin