Why Colleges are Unlikely to Make the SAT/ACT Optional Forever

For years, the SAT and ACT exams have been a traditional part of the college preparation process. High school juniors and seniors use these tests as a way to demonstrate their abilities, what they have learned, and their potential to succeed in college. Many colleges and universities share average test scores for their freshmen classes so prospective students can see where they fall.

But 2020 has shaken everything up.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many SAT and ACT tests were cancelled in the spring. So as not to penalize students for something they had no control over, numerous colleges and universities chose to temporarily suspend SAT/ACT test requirements for 2020 and 2021 admissions. However, there are still colleges that do require these scores, and the ‘optional’ status likely won’t continue forever. Students should speak with their guidance counselor to determine if taking one of these exams is the right choice for them.

The Value of SAT and ACT Scores

No two high schools are the same. Due to discrepancies between the rigor of different schools, differences in grading scales, and other factors, it can be challenging to compare students. The SAT and ACT exams provide a more level playing field by offering standardized testing. All students take the same exam and are scored in the same way on the same scale. These exams are a common thread across applications.

Even if a school is test-optional, it is often to a student’s advantage to submit their scores if they have them. Not only do they add additional support to their application package and demonstrate their abilities, but they may also be used by universities when determining appropriate placement in courses, and to award scholarships.

Preparing for the SATs and ACTs

Students spend a lot of time preparing for these exams, so they want to ensure they are taking the test that will most effectively showcase their strengths and abilities. While colleges do not have a preference between the two exams, and they are equally as challenging, the tests are not structured exactly the same.

Crafting Scholars offers an SAT/ACT Diagnostic Test to help students select the appropriate exam, once they have talked to their guidance counselor and decided that they should take the SAT or ACT. The diagnostic test combines elements of both tests and assesses the student’s strengths and test-taking style. Based on these results, either the SAT or ACT is recommended. Then, a customized study plan and one-on-one tutoring is designed to help the student prepare.

Don’t expect the SAT or ACT to disappear anytime soon. Students can set themselves up for greater success by performing their best on the exam they choose. Crafting Scholars helps makes this decision — and the study process — easier. Contact us today to schedule the SAT/ACT Diagnostic Test and receive data-driven feedback.