There are hundreds of colleges that do not require test scores to make admission decisions. Every year the list of test-optional colleges grows. In addition to smaller colleges, well-known colleges are also being added to the list. Should students still prepare and takes the SAT and/or ACT? It all depends on the student. Here are seven reasons why you still might want to take the SAT or ACT for college admission.
1. Still Required For Admission
While the test-optional movement is growing, there are still many colleges that require test scores. If you do not submit your test scores to colleges that do require them, your application for admission will not be considered. You will find that at least one of the colleges you are considering will require test scores for admission.
2. Required For Athletes
If you are hoping to compete in a sport in college, you will be required to take the SAT or ACT. Even if the colleges you are considering do not require test scores, the NCAA and NAIA require test scores. All student-athletes must have their scores submitted to the NCAA or NAIA to meet eligibility requirements. In addition to taking one of the tests, student-athletes must meet the minimum score required by the NCAA or NAIA.
3. Used When Making Admission Decisions
Colleges use a lot of information when they are making their admission decisions. Colleges that require test scores will use test scores to make decisions. In addition, colleges that are test-optional will use your test scores if you submit them. If you are proud of your test scores and believe your test scores could give you an advantage when colleges are making your admission decision, you may want to consider sending in test scores. Learn about admission at the colleges you are considering that are test-optional to determine if you should submit your scores or not. Your school counselor or admission counselor may be able to give you some advice as to whether you should your test scores or not.
4. Academic Advising
Once you are admitted and choose the college you will attend, the college may require you to meet with someone at the school for academic advising. Academic advisors typically use all of the information they have about you to suggest academic programs and routes for you. Higher test scores and grades will prove to the advisor you are ready for college-level work.
5. Course Placement
There are some courses in college that students will have to prove where they should start. For example, college freshmen are not typically placed in the same Math and English courses. Some students will be placed in introductory classes while others are placed in remedial courses. Some colleges require students to take placement examples while others use test scores to determine course placement. Higher test scores may ensure you don’t start behind. Again, students should check with the college to determine if test scores are used for course placement and if they are, what scores are needed to be placed in the introductory classes or above.
6. Financial Aid
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is not the only thing colleges use when determining financial aid. Many colleges also use your GPA and test scores to determine how much financial aid the institution will award. This may be true of the test-optional colleges as well. Learn about financial aid at the test-optional colleges you are considering to see how your test scores could affect your financial aid award. Higher test scores might lead to a better financial aid award.
7. Introduction To The College
Have you ever received an email or mail from a college you don’t remember signing up for? The reason the college is contacting you is that your scores on the SAT, ACT, or PSAT meet the scores the college is looking for in prospective students. Receiving mail from a college does not guarantee admission to the college, but it does tell you that your test scores are what they are looking for in a student. Check out the mail you are receiving because you may discover a college you’ve never heard of but could be a good fit for you!
College uses test scores differently. Even if a college is test-optional, they will use your test scores if you submit them. Therefore, it is important to check with the colleges you are considering to learn how they use test scores. In addition to knowing how they use test scores, it is important to ask about the numbers. By learning about test scores and admission at the colleges you are considering, you can better determine if you should take or retake the SAT or ACT. Gather all of the information you can about colleges and test scores so you can make the best decision for you when it comes to taking the SAT or ACT.