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Should You Opt Out of Testing?

By February 21, 2019April 30th, 2020College Entrance Exams

Some colleges and universities are offering applicants the option to skip college entrance exams. You may be tempted to opt out of the SAT and ACT, but considering what the current data suggests, you might want to think twice. Even though test-optional policies can result in some positive points for schools such as an increase in number of applicants and potential increase in reported average test scores, test scores still seem to play a pivotal role in college admissions. When looking at data for students who were accepted to highly competitive schools, they are accepting students with outstanding testing and over 90% of students admitted have submitted test scores. Common Data Set for 2017-18 entering students shows that students are still submitting scores to prominent test-optional schools.

H   School% Submitting SAT% Submitting ACT
George Mason70%13%
Worcester Poly80%30%
St. Johns, MD81%17%
W  Wake Forest38%54%

*Source – Common Data Set (CDS) 2017 – 2018.

Colleges may assume that if you do not submit test scores you probably did not hit the school’s average scores on the SAT or ACT since trends show that students with good scores are likely to submit them in order to make their applications stronger.  SAT and ACT scores confirm students’ grades and their general aptitude in the various subject groups. One last thing to consider, if you are applying to merit- based scholarships or aid, you will need to show strong test scores along with your grades. Not having test scores may hinder your ability to receive such funds.