Test to Impress: Always Take Optional Exams!

By  Layton Funk

Published on  April 21, 2020

Colleges Are Going Test Optional

More and more as time moves forward, many universities and colleges are making admissions tests optional. A good proportion of these schools have non-selective or open admissions, meaning that they will often times accept low-scoring students. Universities tend to accept students based off of their test scores, GPA, and class rank. College, on the other hand, will often take in students based on holistic factors. This is due to colleges being much smaller than universities and less sought after. So, optional testing isn’t a deal breaker for colleges. Most highly ranked universities are not test-optional, but that might change in the future.

Stay Competitive

All of this is to say that even if you are applying to a college that is test-optional, you should still take a college admissions exam. It’s similar to how your parents will tell you that you don’t have to do the chores around the house, but it would be appreciated. They really mean that you have to do them, but are phrasing it in a nice way that doesn’t seem forceful. In this way, taking the SAT, ACT, subject tests, and AP exams will make you look much more impressive to colleges and universities. Even if you don’t score all too well, having a score at all will portray you as having a better academic acumen. Colleges are going test-optional to attract a wider range of students. Put yourself above and beyond the rest by taking a test anyway!

Which College to Apply To?

Knowing which colleges accept which tests and if the tests themselves are optional is pretty easy. Here is a list of more than 1,000 accredited 4-year colleges that are test-optional. Beyond that, most colleges and universities accept SAT and ACT scores as well as AP scores and IB program records for credit hours. Some even accept subject testing in lieu of or supplementary to all of that! If you are ever in doubt, call the school’s office or registrar to double check. The more you know about which school(s) you are applying to, the better prepared you’ll be. Having goals in mind and dedicating time to them will elevate you above the competition.

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