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Hi,

I don't know how well prepared I am for the ACT/SAT and I live in an area where covid cases are pretty high. Factoring all of these in... Can anyone give me any advice as to whether I should take the SAT/ACT right now as a senior with 23 AP/IB/CC courses and a weighted gpa near 4.0. I'm worried my gpa will not be good enough but I also worry about how much of a benefit the SAT will really be. Thanks.

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Accepted answer

There is no right and wrong answer to your inquiry but I have to admit you are all calling it at the 11th hour to decide you want to pose this question.

No judgments here, but why wait until Fall semester senior year to take a standardized test when you amassed 23 honors-level classes. Didn't your college counselor in 10th grade tell you do start preparing for the PSAT and SAT Subject II tests if you were taking all these sorts of advanced classes?

Are you stating that you currently have not 1 single SAT or ACT score to submit to support your academic narrative? I realize that since mid-March many schools have gone test-optional but what were you thinking in 10th and 1/2 of 11th grade when your friends and classmates were all taking the SAT and ACT? Again, no judgment here, and all the COVID-19 test-optional policies are a windfall gain for you. I'm just curious, very curious.

You don't have much time to take both the SAT and ACT.

Step 1. Pick either the SAT or ACT. If you have no idea, go with your gut or take a practice test for each and then go with your gut.

Step 2. If you score less than 1400 on a practice SAT and less than 31 on ACT then it might not be worth taking them given your other high achievements.

Step 3. If you feel good about taking a test, Sign up for 2 test dates one after the other because chances are 1 will get canceled.

Step 4. Grind as much as you can until the test date.

Step 5. You will get your test scores within 15 days of the test day so you can decide then whether or not you wish to submit them.

Since you do not have that much to decide, sign up, and study, you have to make a decision.

Is it better to focus on your essays and the overall quality of your college application or benefit from a standardized test like the SAT or ACT?

Again, I wish only to help and hope you end up doing the best thing for you.

Good luck with your college admissions process!!!

Maybe I wasn't clear enough for you in my question but like I said, I live in an area where covid-19 cases are extremely high so the testing centres of where I was supposed to take the SAT last year in my junior year cancelled exams. This was the case for the majority of my graduating class as well. Even though, I took the psat in my sophomore year, I have to still re-register if I still want to take the SAT. I do not have a score because of this and have issues with my gpa due to illness.
I am just not sure what to do with the fact that the SAT is optional
Its a tough call. Between your no test scores and your GPA issues, have you had a conversation with your parents about possibly taking a gap year, something like that to bring up your GPA and get some test scores? If you are open to sharing, how did you test on APs and IBs?
I see and understand better about the COVID test cancellations. Are you talking with your friends and school counselor? Do they have any ideas or do they think everyone should just apply and make the best of it? You put a lot of time and energy into getting those 23 honors classes, I hope you can still put them to good use wherever you apply and if you decide to do something else.
I haven't thought about a gap year actually... My IB exams aren't complete but I did well on all of my AP exams. My high school is pretty well recognised in my state for it's rigor as well so my counselors just recommend that I use the additional information section to explain the circumstances of my grades due to my health
My family also suggests that because my GPA is expected to rise significantly with my senior year grades (as they are going right now) that I apply during the cycle after the school year ends. I'm not very familiar with this so I need to look into it. If anyone knows abt that feel free to lmk.
[edited]
So applying for the college class of 2026 (High school 2022)? I’m not really sure how that works either but you definitely should look into it as a valid option. That being said, if your GPA/coursework are excellent why not just go test-optional this year? There’s no guarantee that the next cycle will be test-optional and if you haven’t studied yet for the exams it might be in your best interest to skip them altogether and go test-optional this year while you can still benefit from the policy
Given the spike of covid-19 cases in my area, that's the advice I have been getting as well but just want to be sure
answered on
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You should take the SAT/ACT because you can always choose to not send it to colleges if you don't score high enough