Who Should Write the SAT or ACT?

Now that the SAT and ACT may be permanently optional for college admissions, students are wondering why they should bother writing it at all.

Most colleges are test optional, which means any SAT or ACT you take will be seen and considered. So is it better to include score in your application? Or is it better to have no score at all?

With the record number of applications this year and expected next year, can students afford to skip standardized testing?

Karen Richardson, Dean of Admissions at Princeton, and Lee Coffin, Dean of Admissions at Dartmouth, have both stated that standardized test scores continue to be critical to the admissions process.

For students, the real question is, should you write the SAT or ACT?

You should write the SAT or ACT if:

  • You are reasonably confident you will receive a good score. A high score is a huge boost to your application! Especially now that the test-optional policies have caused application numbers to swell.
  • Your GPA could be better. A great SAT or ACT score can come from study and practice, so if your GPA could use some help, then consider preparing for the SAT or ACT. A high score will show the admissions officer that you have great academic potential.
  • You are applying to a highly competitive school. All the top colleges, including Ivy League colleges, reported record numbers of applications this past year. As a result, the percentage of applicants admitted was at a record low. Students vying for these top spots are under pressure to use any tool available to increase their chances of admission. Skipping the SAT or ACT would be a missed opportunity.

You should not write (or submit your score from) the SAT or ACT if:

  • Your score does not contribute positively to your application. Especially if your score is low and would make your overall application less competitive.

This may not be a choice for long, as many colleges have stated that the SAT and ACT won’t be optional forever. For now, some students will benefit from skipping standardized testing. Others, however, can’t afford to skip this important part of their application.

For more information on test prep and college admissions, book a free initial consultation and get started on an Academic Roadmap!

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