4 months ago
Admissions Advice

Now that the SATs are not required, how will colleges/universities pick students?

Would you reccomend to still do the SATs? Also, what are some of the colleges that still DO require the SATs? I’m especially curious about the Ivy League and high prestige universities like MIT and Harvard.

@PBJPancakes4 months ago

Excuse me what? I have been PANICKING about those tests, and now there not even required. I'm about to cry LOL

[🎤 AUTHOR]@TharunkumarAR4 months ago

loooolz @PBJPancakes! The thing is, if you’ve aldready spent time for the SATs, I guess you SHOULD take them? Looks like you can withhold your score if you’d like to and having a SAT score wouldn’t do any harm

@PBJPancakes4 months ago

I know.

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4 answers

Accepted Answer
4 months ago

Please read my discussion posts which I have gone into detail about how to approach the college admissions process with regards to submitting test scores even though most schools are test-optional. The bottom line is that high test scores improve your chances of getting admitted into top colleges. During the last cycle, over 93% of MIT admits during SCREA single choice restrictive early action had submitted test scores. The implications of this were that if you didn't submit a test score to MIT, you were either deferred into the RD pool or flat out rejected. 95.22% of 15036 SCREA applicants were rejected or deferred. I think it was just under 90% for Georgetown, even though test-optional last cycle and 80% submitted test scores.

What you and many other high-achieving prospects have to understand is that you are competing with the most selective global pool of applicants in the history of college admissions. This is a new reality. We are never going back to 10% admissions rates for Ivys and Elites in America. Personally, if I were a non-US applicant, I would much rather consider Oxford or Cambridge with 13%-15% acceptance rates which is almost 3X higher than top US colleges at 3.43-4.62 (Harvard, Columbia, Yale, MIT, Stanford) if my goal was to get accepted into Top Global research university. Think about it. Why is it harder to get into Tulane, USC, UCLA, and Colby College than Oxford or Cambridge? Makes no sense to me.

Also, if you are able to see if the ACT is a better platform for you by taking a practice test, then opt-in for submitting an ACT test score. Colleges are 100% agnostic about whether you submit an ACT or SAT.



Good Luck

4 months ago[edited]

Hello there! If you're interested in applying for more “elite” colleges, then I recommend taking the SAT. If your score isn't within a competitive range for the school you're applying to, then you don't have to submit it to them. Deciding to apply test-optional doesn't hurt your chances of admission. However, submitting an attractive SAT score will likely add a nice boost to your application. Key aspects of your application that colleges will look for are your GPA, course rigor, essay(s), extracurriculars, leadership roles, etc. Moreover, I did a little research, and no; I don't believe that any of the prestigious universities REQUIRE applicants to submit their SAT scores. Hope this helps!

4 months ago

Yes, you should absolutely still take the SAT/ACT!! While colleges dont technically require it, getting and submitting a solid score is going to really help boost your chances.

4 months ago

Hi there @TharunkumarAR,

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions, many American colleges have suspended the standardized testing requirement for admissions. All of the Ivies and MIT are test-optional. To see if a school is test-optional, you can access it through the Common or Coalition Application and search through the required entry fields, or visit the school's website for more information. A quick Google search for whatever college you're interested in should let you know their approach to standardized testing this year. Per your question, here are a few examples of universities that are still requiring standardized test score submission: University of Florida, University of Central Florida, University of Colorado - Boulder. You can also use this article as a resource to find test-optional schools:


Now, let's talk through what it means when a school isn't requiring test scores. For test-optional schools, where you can choose to submit or not submit a score, some colleges have stressed that there will be no difference when evaluating your application.

However, should you choose to go this route, keep in mind that the rest of your application will be evaluated in that it has to "make up" for a lack of test scores. That is, because there are less data points to score your application on, each data point (GPA, extracurriculars, essays, etc.) needs to be stronger.

If you have a competitive score, we at CollegeVine recommend you submit it. You can learn more about our methodology through these resources, where we also have thresholds for score submission:



On the other hand, some schools, like the UCs have gone test-blind for California residents. This means they will not evaluate any standardized test scores submitted by in-state residents. In this case, even if you take the tests, they will not factor at all into your admission decision.

Hope this helps!


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