6 months ago
Admissions Advice

Freaking out about the SATs and ACTs!!

I suck at standardized testing because I struggle to focus on the question, as a result, I don't want to take the SAT or ACT. I'm a junior and I'm taking two AP exams, I have two virtual jobs, I am the Secretary of my student government and I am part of the National Honor Society and the Art Honor Society. If I apply to really prestigious colleges, do I have a good chance of getting in or should I just take the tests?


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
6 months ago

Taking it depends on the school because currently lots of schools are test optional. To be in honor societies you need a good character so that should help you a lot but I wouldn't settle. If you start preparing now you could take the SAT or ACT in early senior or a bit before that and do well. If taking them is still a no I would then focus on taking more AP classes and the exams aiming to score 4s and 5s as well as advancing in either of the honor societies to a high position.

6 months ago

Although most schools are test-optional this year, it is generally for two reasons:

1. CO VID-19's impact on student ability to test

2. An overflow of applicants that is much greater than usual because many people opted to take a gap year due to the pandemic

Since the expected number of applicants for most schools is expected to be incredibly high for the 2022 pool, (expected due to last year's results) I would strongly recommend standardized testing. Take the test, and if you don't score well you don't have to submit it. If you do, great! The presence of a test on your application can only help (not harm) your application.

Another thing to consider is whether your AP Tests are in core classes like Math & Language, or if you've done well in these classes in the past, whether you've taken advanced classes or not. If you feel strongly that you have, and your handle of these subjects can be showcased by your transcript (getting good grades or scoring well on these AP Tests, for example), then that would be a reason for not taking the test (if it would really impact you.)

As my college counselor often says, ask yourself: Am I sacrificing important things to take this test? (Ex: time, money, activity to make time to study, etc.) Do I feel it will be helpful? Is there any potential downsides to taking the test?

I hope this helps in your decision!


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