SAT,ACT Scores Optional For Some Colleges? How Students Can Stay on Track

Posted at 5:16 PM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 15:15:06-04

Some colleges and universities will be test optional for Fall 2021 admission, due to the coronavirus.

So, what does this mean for high school students? Today, we tell you how students can find out if they need to take the test for their dream college application and the best way to stay on track.

“It’s definitely intimidating and a little scary that I’m going into senior year having not had a test score on file or have the opportunity to take a test,” said senior at American Heritage School, Madison Winkler.

For Madison, the announcement of students possibly not having to take SAT or ACT exams, came as a shock.

“At first I was excited but then like thinking about how I was prepping for it, it was kind of a bummer because when you put in the work for something, you want to show it,” added Madison.

Now, the pandemic has changed the way Madison and students around the world, prepare for college.

“I think if it doesn’t get waived, It could affect where students decide to go,” said College Advisor at American Heritage School, Sharon Bikoundou.

Sharon says more than half of all of the U.S. four-years colleges and universities will be test-optional for Fall 2021 admission, meaning schools are going to be more selective.

So, what should students consider?

“University of Chicago, about two years ago, last year I believe their admissions selectivity rate was seven percent. So they look at lots of things, extracurriculars, grades, essays, letters of recommendation… that’s going to play more heavily,” added Sharon.

The big worry for families? How not having SAT or ACT scores will impact their child’s college dreams.

Some advice? Take the exam if you can. It’s help you stand out from other candidates.

“If you take the test, and you do well, you can submit that, it will help your application. It’s not as simple as are they going test-optional. For example, at FAU you have until December 1st if you’d like a scholarship, you have to get those test scores in,” said Ethan Fieldman, CEO of Math Nation.

Math Nation is an online mathematics teaching and learning platform.

The company is offering free courses until August, to students who need help prepping for a standardized exam.

“There’s practice problems, videos, everything students need to do well on any standardized test, not just the SAT,” said Ethan.

For now, Madison says she’s taking this as an opportunity to study over the summer.

“As crazy as everything’s been, we also have an advantage. That advantage is time and if you utilize that time correctly you won’t have to balance it with school work. So I'm looking forward to taking the test [when I can] having just finished prepping for it,” said Madison.

So here’s a quick rebound rundown.

  • We recommend to call your schools admissions office to see if they are requiring an SAT or ACT exam score for your application.
    • You can also find a list of schools here.
  • Check to see if they’re offering any scholarships, and if taking the exam will help you stand out from other candidates.

If you need help prepping for the exam, you can find more information on