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Why is Taking the SAT & ACT Still Important for Your UG Admissions

 

Complete Guide to Test Optional Colleges

The guidelines for submitting standardised test scores to universities have changed dramatically over the past year. Some schools have become “test-optional” or “test blind,” as you may have heard. In this post, we’ll explain what that means, which schools have gone test-optional, whether you should report your SAT or ACT scores, and how this affects your college application strategy.

 

Is the ACT/SAT Required for the 2022 Class?

Many schools have gone “test-optional” or “test blind” for Class of 2022 admissions, as you may be aware. Test-optional policies mean that you are not required to submit a test score; however, if you do, admissions officers will review it and may use it to help determine admission. A “test blind” school, on the other hand, will not consider any standardised test scores at all. Read our post on “test optional” vs. “test blind” policies to learn more.

 

The Schools Where SAT/ACT Scores are Compulsory for the Fall 2023 Cycle

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Georgetown University
  • University of Florida
  • Georgia Institute of Technology

    *These Schools are Completely Test-blind

  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, Merced
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of Washington, Seattle

 

How Will Test-Optional Policies Impact Acceptance Rates?

According to extensive research conducted by US News and World Report, test-optional policies significantly reduced acceptance rates in the 2020 admissions cycle. This is because, because high test scores were not required, more students applied to more selective colleges. We believe that this trend will continue into the 2022-2023 cycle, with lower acceptance rates at both top-tier and liberal arts colleges. Students who applied with a standardised test score were found to have a higher acceptance rate.

 

Should You Continue to Take the ACT/SAT?

Despite the fact that a few schools are beginning to implement “test blind” admissions policies (most notably, the UC system), you should still plan to take the ACT/SAT if possible. Some schools are still requiring it, and if it benefits your application, you should certainly send your scores to college admissions as it will help your chances. Furthermore, some college scholarship programmes and honours colleges may still use test scores to determine award money or admission to special programmes.

The test-optional could be renamed “test-preferred.” If a student submits their SAT scores with their application, the schools will look at them. TO is a marketing ploy designed to boost application volume. And, yes, after going TO, many of the highly selective schools received a large number of applications. But guess what? Their acceptance rates have dropped as a result. It’s a useful metric for ranking purposes.

Moving to TO will benefit those who can take the SAT and afford test prep, while low-income students who believe TO will help them will be disappointed.

 

Is your score high enough?

It can be difficult to decide whether to submit your score because it should be done if it will help your application. How do you figure this out? When making a decision, there are several factors to consider, and the following are some questions to consider:

1. What is Your Score Percentile?

If your score is higher than the 50th percentile for accepted students, you should definitely submit it. Scores, however, are not everything and are only one data point in your admissions decision. You may need to consider other aspects of your application before submitting your scores.

2. How Strong is the Rest of Your Application?

If you have a great GPA, fantastic essays, meaningful extracurricular activities, and a glowing letter of recommendation, you should think twice about submitting mediocre test scores because the rest of your application is strong. However, if you are weaker in one area, you should think about submitting them.

Last year, it was assumed that students who used test-optional could not take the exam. With increased access to testing sites this year, students will be assumed to have received a low score if they do not submit. In many cases, submitting an acceptable score is preferable to submitting nothing.

 

3. What are Other Students Who Are Applying to the Same Major Doing?

It may be beneficial to find out if other students applying for the same major are taking the ACT/SAT. If this is the case, you should plan on taking the tests. In general, applicants in STEM, health, and business fields use standardised tests.

 

4. Do You Have Hooks?

If you are an international and national athlete, have made a national and international impact, or have a unique background that the college is trying to recruit, not having a test score will not have as much of an impact on you as a student who does not have a “hook.”

 

Why do Colleges want to go Test Optional?

Several studies have been conducted to assess the impact of test-optional policies on college admissions by looking at diversity, rankings, and student performance.

 

SAT Acceptance beyond US Universities

Other than US universities, a large number of universities have SAT/ACT requirements for admissions and scholarships.

One must understand that taking the SAT will not only help with US UG admissions but will also open doors to many top universities in India, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other Asian countries.

 

SAT/ACT Acceptance in India (Data Taken from the official website of the College Board)

Ahmedabad University, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Anant National University, Ashoka University, Atria University, Azim Premji University, Bennett University, BML Munjal University, Chitkara University, FLAME University, Vellore Institute of Technology, OP Jindal University, G.D Goenka World University are among the Indian universities that accept the SAT/ACT.

In the crux, taking a standardised test is one of the most important steps you can take for your college preparation, regardless of whether you want to study in the USA or only in India.

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FAQs

Is GPA or SAT score more important?

There are a number of reasons why the SAT is regarded as a more valuable admissions tool than your GPA. The SAT is a standardised test, which is obvious. While your GPA compares you to your classmates, your SAT score compares you to the rest of the country.

Which one is easier ACT or SAT?

Neither the SAT nor the ACT is more difficult than the other, but each serves a different type of student. It is critical that you determine which test is best suited for you in order to achieve the highest possible scores.

How many times can you take the SAT?

Students are allowed to take the SAT as many times as they want. We advise them to take it at least twice, once in the spring of their junior year and once in the fall of their senior year. Most students improve their scores on the second try, and most colleges base admission decisions on a student’s highest SAT score.

Is SAT important for college admission?

One of the most important reasons to register for the SAT test is that the results are required for admission to colleges in India and abroad. Aside from college admissions, SAT scores are used to award academic scholarships.

Is there an advantage to taking both the ACT and SAT?

There are four potential advantages to taking both the ACT and the SAT: you’ll have an extra opportunity to excel, studying for one can help you do better on the other, some schools may appreciate seeing both scores, and you’ll have more test dates to choose from.

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