Colleges around the country make SAT, ACT scores optional for admission


Many people haven’t been taking the SAT or ACT since there are test optional colleges.

With the school year being as hectic as it is with the pandemic, online learning and social distancing, numerous colleges have provided that the SAT and ACT, both a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States, be optional.

Students whose test scores do not measure up to their academic performance would certainly seem to benefit from these policies, but what student would not want to take a test? This important decision to take or not take a popular widely-known test can have its downfalls; it’s  not all peaches and cream. 


A recent study done by the National Association for College Admission Counseling(NACAC) shows that non-submitters have comparable academic performance, in terms of both GPA and graduation rates, to students who did submit their scores. 

Many students perform better while doing classwork and homework than they do when taking standardized tests.  By making test score submissions optional, it gives the students a sense of freedom and a boost of self assurement when applying to colleges. 

“Being test optional has allowed me as a student to feel confident in my college applications,” said junior Gissele Bravo. 

For those who do decide to take the test, most private and most public colleges still offer scholarships based on test scores. The NACAC study found that nearly four out of five colleges use standardized test scores as an eligibility criterion for merit aid. Those who tend to score high and submit their scores are more likely to receive financial aid.


The advantages to not taking the test are undeniable; however there are also some obvious disadvantages to taking the standardized test.  Going test optional puts you at-risk because other applicants might have the same GPA, courses, and extracurricular activities as you. As a college applicant, you want to stand out like a sore thumb, and if students don’t submit their SAT or ACT scores, they are more likely to receive no little to no financial aid or scholarships at all. 

Popular test-optional colleges and universities include:

  • The University of Chicago
  • Wake Forest University
  • Bowdoin College
  • Bucknell University
  • Pitzer College
  • Brandeis University
  • St. John’s College
  • George Washington University
  • New York University