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How common is it for colleges to not require the SAT or ACT?

Hey folks - starting to do my college search and it's becoming a lot. Just curious, how many colleges these days are not requiring SAT or ACT scores for admissions? Any stats or experiences are appreciated!

7 months ago

Hello! As of recent years, there has indeed been a significant increase in the number of colleges adopting test-optional policies, which means they do not require SAT or ACT scores as part of the admission process. This trend was amplified due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when many students faced challenges in taking standardized tests safely. In response, institutions wanted to ensure equitable access to admissions during those times, and many have extended these policies moving forward.

From large research universities to small liberal arts colleges, there's a wide range of institutions that currently operate under test-optional policies.The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) reports that over 1,800 U.S. colleges are test-optional for the current admissions cycle. However, it's important to confirm the specific policies of each institution you're interested in, as some may have certain stipulations (such as test-optional only for students with a GPA above a certain threshold).

Also keep in mind that while test scores are not required at these schools, strong scores can still bolster an application, especially if they align well with or exceed the median ranges for accepted students. At especially selective schools, you should also think hard about submitting your score—admissions at these schools is already so competitive that you don't want to put yourself at a disadvantage by not including a data point that other applicants have.

Finally, there are some schools, including renowned ones like MIT and Georgia Tech, that have gone back to requiring standardized test scores. So, make sure you double-check the testing policies of each college on your list.

Best of luck with your college process!

7 months ago

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