This or that: test-blind or test-optional

Recorded Friday, June 4 at 09:00 PM

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About this livestream


Recent developments across the United States have triggered a wave of reconsideration when it comes to national standardized testing.

In particular, test-blind and test-optional admissions have taken center stage when it comes to college admissions - but what does this mean for you?

Today, Elias will walk you through these two types of testing options and how these changes are affecting the admissions landscape.

Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my fourth year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored thousands more through my livestreams. Apart from my work at CV, I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
0:39@FairTestBob:Can't see the livestream -- are you on air yet -- just get the "Welcome! The livestream will begin shortly"screen
4:38@Lunemoon:Hi Elias!
9:04@nicolehattonn:love the energy!
9:06@Catcatcat:Hi :D
9:09@Lunemoon:Why are you in Vienna?
17:19@Lunemoon:That’s great...didn’t know they were letting people in during Covid
17:40@nicolehattonn:should i still prep for the sat/act now if i am class of 2023 and should i start now
18:41@nicolehattonn:do you think using Khan academy is enough to prepare or should we get a prep book or another extra resource
20:52@nicolehattonn:do you think princeton is the best prep book?
21:41@Lunemoon:College Board books are the best
21:57@Lunemoon:But you know in some ways even essays are discriminating because top schools require a great command at Wnglish to which the same reasons would apply
23:23@Lunemoon:They’re better than Princeton Revierw
24:45@nicolehattonn:should i be happy or sad subject tests are cancelled
26:36@Lunemoon:You either freeze or disappear and only the black screen shows
42:00@nicolehattonn:do they take ap tests into account since i heard they don't really matter and how you don't have to send your score
43:29@GinaS:How will merit be awarded without college testing?
44:45@Lunemoon:If you score well 2nd and 3rd time is there a choice to not send the 1st, or you have to send them all
45:55@Leslie.C:Do you have any advice on those taking the SATs but still not improving too much? Any tutor websites?
48:10@Kadin:My GPA is 4.7, and my SAT score was 1470. I am a junior right now. Do you think I should take the SAT again? Do you think 1470 is low?
51:39@nicolehattonn:you're def not a 1
51:40@Learner:Thank you for your clear explanation. It helps me.
54:35@ChicM:My unweighted gpa is 4.0 and my sat score was 1390. I am a junior. Should I take it again if I want to go to JHU.
55:18@Leslie.C:This is my first time on this website and so far very helpful, thank you!
55:33@GinaS:Do you have any College Vine resources addressing the cost of college? I'm concerned that tuition has inflated way too much in the past 15 years.
57:14@Lunemoon:What’s the next subject that’s going to be next week.
57:25@Lunemoon:Is there going to be something on summer extracurriculars for elite schools? Or good schools (they’re all good)
57:50@nicolehattonn:how many B's can you get to get into top school probably
58:35@Lunemoon:Is there a big difference in getting just over 1500 or should you be way into 1500s?
59:31@ChicM:Thanks for answering my question!
61:26@Learner:Very Helpful!
61:51@Lunemoon:You’re 5star
62:33@Ayush:Yeah you are great!


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