Tests that once meant everything

Colleges not requiring standardized test scores admission


Photo by Doug Kyles

photo illustration.

Story by Logan Diggs, managing editor

The ACT/SAT are renowned as a test taker’s worst nemesis; luckily, this year’s class won’t have to rely on the test to determine their fate as prior graduates would. 

Due to COVID-19, many colleges nationwide have decided to not make the ACT/SAT a requirement, leaving seniors all across the country confused about what they should do instead, how this decision will affect the college application process and how they should go about the process considering these new standards. 

“I think that just because the ACT/SAT is not required by many universities for admission in fall 2021, it does not mean it’s not encouraged,” Associate Principal for College and Career Readiness Bettie Stark said.  

As far as taking the test goes, while considering one’s college of choice may not require it, keep in mind all these scores can do is help. Students should highlight colleges of interest and see what their requirements normally are and compare their academic resume to these standards. This process should give a good idea if taking the standardized tests is the right choice.

 “ACT/SAT is still a great tool to demonstrate academic achievement,” Stark said. “Students should research the colleges to which they are applying, and if their score is above the average admission score for the class of 2020, I would definitely submit a score.” 

Less weight on these standardized tests will relieve stress on seniors planning to attend college, especially considering the pandemic cancelled this previous spring’s testing. Yet, other areas of the applications process are more heavily weighted without the test.

Considering my school of interest still requires the ACT, I find the change unfair since it does not apply to all colleges. The fact that some students don’t feel the pressure of studying for a test that determines if they are able to attend their desired college does not sit with me very well.”

— Iris Gonzalez

 “If a student chooses not to send an ACT/SAT, then the student must understand that everything else they submit (transcript, class rank, rigor of course load, extracurricular activities, essays, resume, etc.) just became even more important in the admissions process,” Stark said. 

Many seniors across the nation will be thankful that most colleges are not holding this standardized test so highly when it comes to college admittance. However, everyone’s situation is different; research one’s GPA and college of interest and act accordingly. 

“Although not all colleges are requiring the standardized test, I still plan on preparing myself as best as possible to make the highest score I am capable of,” senior Iris Gonzalez said. “I think it’s great that students have better possibilities of getting into their dream schools because of this change.”

On the other hand, some students feel the admission change was necessary and was the best decision to make.

“I have taken the ACT twice and was satisfied with my second score. Initially, colleges going test optional worried me as I felt my hard work would go without reward. However, after researching and talking to admissions counselors, I believe that colleges made the right choice,” senior Nathan Morris said. “Although standardized tests can display an elevated aptitude, it doesn’t necessarily distinguish between the gifted and not. Since colleges have already done a holistic review, potentially removing one component should not affect admission significantly, as the best students will still get in.”