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College Planning For Juniors: Test Optional Colleges

The last few days, we have been writing about creating a standardized testing plan and how to prepare for the SAT and/or the ACT.  But what do you do if you feel that your standardized testing scores are not that great?  Maybe you know you are not a stellar test taker and your scores will not be an accurate reflection of your academic abilities.

Well, not all colleges require that you submit ACT or SAT scores for admission.  In fact, a growing number of colleges and universities are going “test optional.” In other words, you can decide whether you want to submit those scores.  FairTest.org keeps a list of schools that do not required the tests.

If you are interested in a test optional school, be sure to review their policies.  Some schools will simply ask you to check off a box on your application stating that you do not want your standardized testing scores included in the review of your application.  Other schools may require you to submit additional materials.  For example, you may be asked to send in graded papers or exams.  Some schools may require a portfolio that may include additional writing samples or other academic work.  If you get an idea for what may be required, you can start collecting samples now.

Even if you are interested in a number of test optional schools, you should still plan on taking (and preparing for) the SAT and ACT.  You want to make sure you have official scores available should you decide to apply to a school that requires standardized testing scores.

If you need help navigating the policies of test optional schools, let us know!

Katherine Price

Educational Consultant

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Comments

  1. This post makes a great point about the range of reverence given to standardized tests scores in college admissions.

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