2 years ago
Admissions Advice

'23 Test Predictions

Hello! Does anyone think the Class of 2023 will still have test-optional admissions in a lot of schools? Is it better to submit a test score even if optional?

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Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

Most top colleges will be test optional for the HS Class of 23. And Ivys like Harvard have extended it through the HS Class of 2026. Another 4 years.

If you have a high ACT or SAT test score, it is ALWAYS to your advantage to submit it. There is absolutely ZERO evidence that submitting a good ACT / SAT has no impact on your admissions decision.

There are far too many advisors and students that think colleges have created a level playing field for them so that they can have a equitable crack at getting into these top schools. However the forensic data from last year proves that admissions officers prefer applicants with high test scores over those who do not submit because the admit pool has a very high percentage of test scores. Last cycle 63% UPenn applicants submitted test scores however in the admit pool 76% had submitted test scores. In the Georgetown and MIT application pool 90-93% of admits had submitted test scores.

If you can not take the ACT or SAT because you live in a country where it's impossible to sit for the exam, then Admissions Officers cut you some slack for sure. However if you live in a zip code (s) where there are multiple opportunities to take both tests, and your HS even proctors standardized tests, then you are not a marginalized disadvantaged student who has no access to test prep materials or testing centers. If you still choose not to participate in standardized tests because you simply don't want to, then your admissions chances will be hurt because your friends and acquaintances at your own school will look better to the same schools you are applying to.

There are special circumstances where you don't need a test score. I would say that if you have a 4.0 UWGPA and have taken 10 APs and score 5s on them and have amazing ECs, Essays, Community leadership an service and have evidence of intellectual curiosity/vitality like taking online college classes, or doing supervised published research, taking an ACT/SAT will not help you much at all. If you are a genius a single test will not matter. Hopefully that resonates with you and understand my point. The other circumstance where it doesn't matter much is if you are applying to pre-COVID-19 test optional colleges like Bowdoin, UChicago, Pitzer, Smith college, Trinity college, Skidmore, etc. Why? Because all of them went test optional before the pandemic voluntarily as part of their admissions strategy. They all have AOs that know how to evaluate an applicant without a test score. The last caveat are colleges that are TEST BLIND. These would be all the UC schools, CalTech, Dickinson, Reed College, Hampshire, Cal Poly Schools, CUNY schools, etc. You can't submit a test score to these colleges.


Hope this is helpful to you.

2 years ago[edited]

Hello and welcome to CollegeVine!

First of all, No one has to think about anything because colleges have announced when they will stop being test optional. This varies from college to college; some colleges will be test optional up until class of 2023 (including class of 2023) and some colleges will be test optional up till class of 2024 (class of 2024 included). So most colleges will definitely be test optional for the Class of 2023!

Coming to your second question, it is always a good idea to send colleges your test scores because it helps them get a better picture of you. Also, if you have a really good test score, why not send it? Now, if one has a low test score, then it would be better to not send it because it might make you look bad.

Hope this helps!

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