4 years ago
Admissions Advice

Weight of each application component if not submitting ACT or SAT

How will the different parts of the application be weighed if an ACT or SAT score is not included in the application?

Like many other students, I was unable to take standardized tests because of COVID after weeks preparing due to last minute cancellations over and over again. Like other people, I'm spending more time preparing and I have nothing to show for it, because of cancellations. Maybe I should be spending more energy on the other parts of my application.

Should I keep studying in case I can take it in the fall or just focus on academics and extracurriculars?

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2 answers

4 years ago[edited]

It would be politically incorrect for any college official to communicate that different parts of the application be weighted more given their newly adopted Test-Optional policies. Therefore, if you put yourself in the seat of the admissions officer reviewing and deciding on which application to advocate for, a.) the A student with all the checkboxes marked for great ECs, Recommendations, Essays, Rigor, Community service but no test scores or b.) the other student who has the same "apples to apples" checkboxes marked but 1500 SAT score and (2) 750 subject test scores, the latter will get the nod over the former. Why wouldn't they hedge their bets that the test score submitter may perform better? Therefore you should decide for yourself whether you are going to grind for the rest of the summer to be ready for 11 possible dates or not. Only you can make that decision on what to register for and when. Your practice test scores will give you a reasonable level for your score. So if you get 1400-1500s on your SAT, you should get a 1450 +/-75 pts. And if you get a 32-34 on your ACT, you should get a 33 +/- 2 points on the real thing. I just took my 2nd ACT after it was canceled in April and June and I feel a sense of relief. If I don't get my target score, I can still retake it in Sept or Oct. Yes, it's a pain. I had to drive an hour away from my zip code to take it. I had to wear a mask for 4 hours. I had to take it with strangers. But I don't regret being patient for a test date to open up and power through the process.

ACT Test Dates

Saturday, September 12

Sunday, September 13

Saturday, September 19

Saturday, October 10

Saturday, October 17

Saturday, October 24

Sunday, October 25

SAT Test Dates

Saturday, August 29

Saturday, September 26

Saturday, October 3

Saturday, November 7

4 years ago

Hey! I am also a senior and I have meeting up with many college admission offices and they all said the same thing: if you do not turn in your SAT/ACT score, it will not affect your application. Of course, you do turn it in, you will not have any extra benefit than any other student who did not. So, my advice would be to continue studying for it... but not too much. Do not spend all of your time studying for the ACT/SAT, instead focus on your application process. Start drafting your essays, look and apply for scholarships, create your college resume, meet up (virtually) with your top choice colleges, and get to know more about them.

Keep studying for the SAT/ACT just in case they actually open their testing centers but don't count on it. For all we know, this pandemic could be here till we go to college and so the testing centers may be closed for the rest of the year. We don't know, so it is risky to put all your focus on something that is not set in stone.

Hope this helps!

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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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