Although standardized tests like the SAT have long been a standard requirement for university admission in the United States, several institutions have stopped using them recently. This implies that students applying to colleges and universities in the United States no longer need to submit SAT scores as part of their application.
What does this entail, though, for those who are considering US college applications? Is the SAT score mandatory for admission, or is the application considered “incomplete” without it? Keep reading to learn more about what test-optional means and how to make an informed choice for your admissions application.
What Is test-optional?
Colleges and universities with test-optional admissions policies allow you to not include your standardized test scores when applying. It doesn’t imply that schools aren’t interested in seeing test scores.
A recent survey shows nearly 80% of test-optional university applicants prefer to submit test scores. Another study found that over 80% of SAT takers preferred submitting their scores electronically.
By learning about schools’ test-optional policies, you’ll be better able to decide whether or not to take the SAT. The critical issue is that policies are not uniform at all. You need to research each college’s policies thoroughly to ensure you meet all the prerequisites for admission, scholarships, and financial aid or grants.
What does test-optional mean for students studying abroad?
If a college or institution advertises itself as test-optional, that means that undergraduate applicants aren’t required to provide SAT scores.
Well-known schools like Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia are among the more than 1800 universities in the United States that do not require applicants to take standardized tests.
When students had trouble accessing test centers due to closures or lockdowns, many universities temporarily waived the SAT score requirement.
Many prospective test takers were dealing with personal and familial concerns brought on by precautionary limits or health issues due to the pandemic, which caused considerable interruptions to the administration of the SAT worldwide.
While international and US-based students can submit test scores, international students should know that English proficiency examinations are rarely discretionary. Applicants still need to schedule and present the results of their English proficiency exams. Get prepared and practice for your IELTS exam using 700+Club IELTS courses.
Do I need to supplement my application if I don’t take the SAT?
Individual schools and universities are responsible for determining their admission requirements. Applicants who choose not to submit SAT scores are only sometimes required to provide any justification for their decision.
Will my application be complete if I submit my SAT results?
Applications are evaluated based on several criteria, including the applicant’s high school GPA, personal statement, and participation in extracurricular and voluntary activities.
When determining an applicant’s potential for success, several factors are considered, like students’ academic growth throughout secondary school, teacher feedback, and their own reflections on their motivations, values, and goals for the future.
Therefore, accepting or rejecting your application will likely be based on various components, such as your SAT results.
Which colleges don’t require the SAT?
Especially in light of recent interim policy shifts in reaction to the coronavirus, the list of universities that provide test-optional admissions is subject to frequent revision. If you have any questions about the college’s policies, it is best to contact the college immediately.
Should I still take the test?
Yes, in a nutshell. Even at test-optional institutions, admissions officers still highly regard the SAT. There are still benefits to taking standardized tests, even if you don’t feel they suit you.
Most schools still require, or at least welcome, standardized test scores. Remember that you are not locked into the colleges you have listed.
Submitting your SAT score will benefit you in the admissions process if you achieve the score you aspire for, especially if it is above average for the college and makes you a standout. You should still take the SAT even if your top-choice university is one of the few that is test-flexible.
What if I don’t feel ready to take the SAT?
While most do not enjoy tests, taking the SAT has no adverse consequences. You’ll have complete control over whether or not to turn in your scores that are less than stellar.
Don’t limit your options because everyone’s predicament is unique. Make sure you give yourself a fighting chance. Give the SAT a shot. The 700+Club provides users with tailored SAT courses to boost confidence and scores. You can always try again if your performance is not up to par.
Knowing your score lets you choose the option that will benefit you the most. You can submit a score if it needs to be revised to reflect your ability and improve your application. It will be waiting for you if you ever need to send it in for a job or a scholarship.
The bottom line
Although your academic record will appear less complete if you don’t take the SAT and send the results to your prospective universities, taking the test can make or break a lackluster application if you opt not to. The admissions committee can see your potential and look past a low GPA if you score well on the SAT.
There are also perks to the SAT beyond using it for university admission. A minimum SAT score and grade point average may be required to win a scholarship at some universities. You may need to take the SAT to ensure you get all the funding that could help pay for your studies.
But ultimately, taking it depends on which university you’ve got in mind to pursue your program at. Suppose you’re unsure which university is right for you or what kind of help you need with the SAT. In that case, the 700+Club is here to save the day with admissions consulting and individual or group SAT courses.