From letters of recommendation and college entrance exams to showcasing extracurriculars and navigating the logistics of submitting applications, rising high school students are facing high stress as they prepare for the college admissions process. More than 1,600 colleges have gone testing-optional, a new concept for many adding stress and confusion to the process. The college experience has changed, and so has the college admissions process.
As the pandemic continues to accelerate, testing-optional will likely become the norm for colleges and universities across the nation. Parents, educators and students need to fully understand what this means for the application process and how to best prepare and navigate for success.
Colleges and universities that have gone testing-optional are giving students the choice of submitting or not submitting ACT and SAT exam scores. Many students are unable to find open testing centers, and those that are open are inundated with requests for seats. If you’re a student who can take the SAT or ACT, how do you decide if you should?
It comes down to this: Can colleges reasonably expect someone in your position to perform well on the SAT or ACT? For students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, that answer is probably ‘no’—but not because of a lack of ability. Because the testing process is expensive and time-consuming. Students from lower economic backgrounds would be unfairly burdened by the expectation of outperformance on the SAT and ACT. This