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a year ago
Admissions Advice

Will Schools going Test Optional make Admissions for Colleges easier ?
Answered

So recently I looked at the College Vine data information that it is now including the test-optional option and because of this all of my acceptance chances went up by a lot. Before my chances of getting into Harvard was first < 14 % and now it is 60 - 68%?

For me, my grades/test scores were not high around a (3.6) with high top tier c/b mostly EC"s, which is not relatively high for Harvard, but is other student's chance going up as well or? Like just in case is this like right, or is it a typo?

Or is Test optional helping students who may not be the best test-takers or something like that? Like I am confused as to what this means since I was pretty sure I thought?

Also for a student that might have lower grades during the test-optional how can they compensate on their application?

For applying to a school like Harvard, Yale, Stanford especially in the early rounds will be harder since that pool has students with test scores or it is still better to apply SCREA, or does it give you an edge especially now with everything?

essays
extracurriculars
GPA
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[🎤 AUTHOR]@user45874q111232423a year ago

Thank you, this helps alot!

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2 answers

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Accepted Answer
a year ago[edited]

If your test scores were previously low, then applying test-optional may give you a big edge if:

1. You're an under-represented minority, first-gen student, or low-income

2. You have really strong ECs (which it sounds like you do)

This result is not a typo, but if you have more specific questions related to your profile, feel free to email support@collegevine.com.

If you have lower grades and are applying test-optional, the other 2 places to improve would be your essays and ECs. Your ECs sound great, so just focus on writing really engaging essays. There are tons of resources on this platform where you can get your essay reviewed, and see real essay examples from previous cycles.

As for SCEA, it traditionally gives you an edge, and it should still do so during this cycle. If you have an otherwise strong profile and are applying test-optional (which it sounds like you do, based on your chances), you should be fine to apply SCEA. Just make sure you feel ready and your essays are the best they can be.

Hope this helps, and let me know if you have more questions!

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a year ago

Honestly, no one knows what it will be like with Test Optional admittance as it has never happened before. What I have been told is that if you are in the area of admittance such if Harvard's average ACT was a 34-36, then you should still submit your score if at all possible, it is just another way to sell your intellectual capability. Also, this site's calculator is not the best when it comes to showing you your chances of admittance.

Like any other Ivy League school, the best way to compensate for having a bad GPA or a bad test score is to be very proficient in a hobby or sport or any other activity. This can be shown by maybe winning a competition or being awarded as an All-American for a sport. However if you don't have any of those things and your best bet are test scores below average, sorry to say, but it might be time to look at other colleges.

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