Will high test scores be any significant advantage for the next overwhelmingly "test optional" college admissions cycle?
I am a rising high school senior and I was wondering, since so many colleges are going test-optional, if having a higher SAT/ACT score would give me any significant edge in the admissions process over a student who chooses not to submit scores? Will colleges favor applicants who did well on standardized tests (maybe colleges want to boost their score range?) or will it really not matter at all?
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Yes! Test optional is not test blind. While not submitting scores won’t effect you, due to schools trying not to create an uneven playing field for those who can’t access testing right now, having scores well above the admitted averages for a school will still boost your application. At schools like UChicago, which have been test optional for years, most students still submit scores, and there is still a correlation between high scores and admissions.
Yes and no, it depends on the specific college. For instance, CalTech is going Test Blind so they won't even look at SAT/SATII/ACT scores. At CalTech, there is ZERO advantage. At most of the historical Test-Optional colleges, you can get the exact % of SAT/ACT submitters from the colleges' common data set. Some historically test-optional colleges like UChicago or Bowdoin will most definitely give a positive nudge to std.test submitters because most applicants still submit even though they have been test-optional. (Bowdoin's been T.O. for 50 years). At other historically T.O. colleges like Bates which has a low rate of submitters, not so much. For the rest of the elite colleges that have gone T.O., I think it's going to be hit and miss. For all the most popular colleges with low admit rates under 15%, I think the majority like 80%-85% are going to submit test scores including Subject Tests. At the lesser competitive liberal arts colleges, I see that number like 70-75% submitting. So that still means most applicants are going to submit. Therefore unless you have stellar stats like 75% of the admit range, you are not going to have a major advantage at the T.O. colleges with new policies. Now if you don't submit, I will say the obvious. You may be disadvantaged on a sliding scale from ZERO to very little to somewhat.
Some of the more competitive colleges will most likely take a look at your SAT/ACT scores, but they wont take into much consideration since the admissions will have to take a look further into the applicants academic background to make it a little more fair for the other people who didn't submit their test scores.
Colleges will take a look at your grades in school and your GPA for your 4 years of high school as well as what you have been doing extra-curricular wise, since they take extra-curricular activities very seriously (especially right now).
Super score SAT/ACT's will not really matter for this year but you could maybe try it out as it will make you stand out a lot more compared to other applicants.
So colleges will as you know still look at test scores. And I believe that the mid 50% will likely improve by maybe 50 points on the SAT as strong applicants will submit their score.
Student X has the same profile as Student Y except X has a SAT of 1270compared to the middle 50 of 1150-1300. Student X would likely be admitted over student Y in this case
So college will favor students who did well but it is by no means necessary if student X had a 1120 and Y had no test Y would likely be admitted over X.
It is more of a if I have good scores submit it it’s like an optional rec letter but triple or so the impact