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What Is Test Optional And Why Are More Colleges Making The Switch in 2022?

  • Post-secondary institutions are bucking a trend that has prevailed for decades and moving toward being test optional. In the past, if you couldn’t show academic potential through test scores, these educational institutions would not accept you, no matter how high your grades were. Yet now, there is an increasing number of college campuses that will take you in regardless of your score on these admissions exams. Find out in this article the reasoning behind this new ‘test optional’ movement and what could help future generations be better prepared to navigate this change.

    What is a Test Optional Policy?

    A test optional policy is when a college does not require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of the admissions process. More and more colleges are making the switch to test optional policies in recent years. There are a few reasons why this trend is happening.

    Some experts believe that the SAT and ACT are not good measures of a student’s potential success in college. They argue that these tests favor students from more affluent families who can afford tutors and prep courses. Schools that have switched to test optional policies often report an increase in applications and a more diverse pool of applicants.

    For students, going to a test optional college can take some of the pressure off the admissions process. If you’re not confident in your testing abilities, you don’t have to worry about whether your SAT or ACT score will make or break your chances of getting into a particular school.

    How Much of an Impact Does ‘Test Optional’ Have on College Admissions?

    There is a lot of debate surrounding the impact of making the SAT or ACT optional for college admissions. What does the data say? Unfortunately, there is not a clear consensus. Anecdotally, we have heard from students who were admitted to their dream school after submitting strong test scores, and from students who were admitted without submitting any test scores at all. The truth is, every college is different, and each one weighs the SAT or ACT differently in their admissions process.

    What’s important to remember is that each college has its own admissions standards, so even if a school is test optional, that doesn’t mean they’ll be any easier to get into than a school that requires test scores.

    If you’re trying to decide whether to submit your SAT or ACT score to colleges, the best thing you can do is research each individual school’s admissions policy using Athlete Match. Find out whether they consider the test score to be an important factor in their decision-making process. If they do, then it’s probably worth your while to submit a strong score. If they don’t, then you may be able to get by without taking the test at all.

    Why More Colleges Are Going Test Optional

    In recent years, more and more colleges have been making the switch to becoming test optional. There are a number of reasons why colleges are going test optional. One reason is that colleges want to be more inclusive and accessible to a wider range of students. They know that not everyone does well on standardized tests, and that submitting test scores can be a barrier for some students.

    Another reason is that colleges want to focus on other aspects of the student’s application. They want to get to know the student as a whole person, and not just as a score on a test. SAT and ACT scores can give a limited view of a student’s ability, so colleges are increasingly looking at things like essays, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular activities to get a better sense of who a student is and what they will contribute to their campus community.


    As the college admissions process becomes more competitive, schools are looking for ways to level the playing field. Test optional policies do just that – they give students who may not have had the opportunity to prepare for standardized tests a fair shot at admission. We hope this article has given you a better understanding of what test optional means and why more colleges are making the switch. If you’re considering applying to a test optional school, be sure to do your research to see if it’s right for you.

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