Test Optional Policy is an Opportunity

Test Optional Policy is an Opportunity

The test optional policy used currently by some colleges is a great opportunity for students to prove that they have the skills essential for college.  The SAT and ACT measure math, grammar, and reading comprehension skills which are critical for success in college.  The SAT and ACT tests are the most objective part of the college application, because while the quality and variety of high schools vary, everyone takes the same test on a given day.  These tests are an excellent way for students to leave no doubt about their readiness for college level classes.

Who Should Submit their Scores?

 Students who are near or above the median score for acceptance at a given college would probably benefit by submitting their scores.  In fact, students who fall between the 25th and 75th percentiles for a particular college should consider submitting.  This way, if the student is competing with another student with comparable grades and resume who chose not to submit their score, then submitting a decent score could be the deciding factor.  By including the score, then you provide the college with clear evidence of what you’re capable of, instead of leaving them to wonder.  Also, submitting a qualifying test score may exempt the student from a placement test such as the TSI or comparable test.  In addition, a strong SAT or ACT score will qualify you for some of the best scholarships available, and the requirements vary a lot for different colleges.  To get help deciding whether to submit or not, feel free to contact us at 817-451-6200, check with your school counselor or college advisor, or contact the college directly.

Should You Prepare for the SAT or ACT?

 A good score on the SAT or ACT still has the same advantages it had pre-Covid, prior to the test-optional policy.  It can still improve your chances of admission at competitive colleges and improve your scholarship options.  It is still a way for a capable late-bloomer to show what he or she knows.  In my experience, parents usually know what their kids are capable of and have a good sense of what barriers they need to overcome.  So, if you have a strong feeling that your kid can score higher on these tests, it might be worth putting some work into, either in the form of self-study or in the form of a more structured course like we offer.  Of course, motivation is essential.  But, I’ve found that motivated kids can usually increase their SAT score by 200-300 points or more and their ACT score by 4-6 points or more if they put the time and effort into it.

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