Applying to Colleges That Don’t Require Sat
If you’re interested in attending college, but are hesitant to take the SAT, ACT, or GRE, you may want to consider one of the test-optional colleges. These colleges don’t require students to take any of the tests and offer several advantages over those that do. Read on to learn how to apply for a test-blind college and why not taking the tests is a good idea.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, standardized testing has undergone major changes. Several universities have made the decision to become test-optional, and there are currently more than seventy percent of four-year institutions that don’t require SAT or ACT scores. This trend is likely to continue, and by 2022, nearly seventy percent of colleges will no longer require any test scores.
The move toward test-optional colleges comes as no surprise. Colleges have long sought to diversify their student body and don’t want to exclude students based on their socioeconomic status or SAT scores. And while some have said that it will only make the process more competitive, others have expressed their own fears. Moreover, the SAT’s recent rescore has been attributed to the emergence of a new virus that shut down several test centers across the country, putting many students at risk for admission.
Despite the widespread support for test-optional policies, many schools continue to require the SAT and ACT tests. A recent report by U.S. News and World Report found that applications from first-generation students, international students, and fee-waiver students rose by 31%. Yet enrollments that are directly tied to test-optional policies are much more difficult to discern. One study in the American Educational Research Journal reported that while flexible testing policies increased the number of applications from URM students, the change in enrollment rates only resulted in a 1% increase over fifteen years.
While there are several test-optional colleges that do not require the SAT or ACT, a large number still require them for admission and scholarship consideration. In addition to the list of test-optional colleges, there are also some colleges that require these tests from certain applicants, including homeschooled and nonresident students. Applicants must look for colleges with test-optional policies when choosing their college. So, how can students make the right decision?
Harvard University, Cornell University, and MIT have all announced test-optional policies for the 2022-2023 cycle. Most top-tier institutions will soon follow suit. There are still more colleges to decide, but for now, these are the institutions that have opted to stay test-optional. This list will be updated as more colleges announce their policies. When the test-optional policy becomes permanent, it could be the way to go.
Colleges that don’t require SAT or ACT scores
In the upcoming years, more colleges will no longer require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. These colleges tend to have strict admissions standards and might even favor more traditional educational models. You should check with your prospective school to see which ones accept applicants without standardized test scores. Ultimately, you should choose the option that best showcases your achievements and interests. Here are some examples of schools that do not require standardized test scores:
For now, only the University of California system requires SAT or ACT scores, so this trend will be limited to students from that state. However, the SAT and ACT scores will continue to be accepted by the University of California system, so your high scores will still be very valuable in applying to the University of California system. However, other colleges aren’t following their lead.
Some of these colleges are already practicing test-blind admissions. Since the late 1980s, FairTest has been leading the test-optional movement in the U.S., including several top universities. While the practice may be temporary at the moment, the trend is expected to grow. And there are still more reasons to switch from SAT/ACT testing to test-optional admissions.
In addition to schools that have already made test-optional policies permanent, other colleges have temporarily lifted test-optional policies. These colleges were already test-optional before the pandemic hit the country. Some schools also continue to require AP test scores and TOEFL scores for international students. You should check with your prospective school for more information about their test-optional policies.
If you want to attend a large liberal arts college, you should check out Skidmore College in Upstate New York. This school has a comparatively high acceptance rate than other universities and is one of the best colleges that don’t require SAT/ACT scores in 2022. With a campus of 850 acres, it’s also a relatively small school. There are only four graduate students at the school.
Benefits of not taking the tests
The benefits of not taking the tests at colleges in 2026 are not just about lowering your standardized test scores. Many college admissions officers are reducing the importance of SAT and ACT scores as well. In addition, the SAT and ACT writing portions no longer carry much weight in admissions, which makes the test optional at many colleges. The resulting trend will likely continue well into the next decade, and colleges are likely to remain test-optional even after the Covid-19 testing administration, which is expected to take place in 2022.
While the SAT and ACT scores may not be as important as a GPA, they can still help you stand out in the college admissions process. The tests can help students who don’t have stellar grades to balance out other parts of their application. Moreover, studies show that students who take the SAT or ACT two or more times score higher than those who take the test only once. However, the recent COVID-19 outbreak and numerous test center closures prevented many seniors from taking multiple SAT and ACT tests.
Moreover, students who don’t take the tests have a leg up on other applicants, because standardized test scores aren’t the ultimate criterion of academic strength. Colleges will still prioritize strong scores over low ones, and they are more valuable than a student who doesn’t take the tests at all. High test scores are often indicative of desirable characteristics, including access to rigorous curricula and a dedicated college counselor.
As test-optional colleges become more popular, more schools will switch to this policy, allowing students to concentrate on their high school experience instead of test scores. While strong test scores are still important, they may not be the most influential factor in college admissions, so it’s best to study for the ACT or SAT before applying to test-optional colleges. However, it’s important to remember that there are still a few colleges who will use test scores for other purposes, such as for scholarships or waitlist decisions.
Some colleges are going entirely test blind for the class of 2022, but the trend will not last forever. This trend has already begun to impact a variety of institutions and states. For example, in the state of California, the University of California system, which has 10 campuses, has decided to make admissions test-blind in fall 2021. But the College Board hasn’t changed their stance on testing in the fall of 2021, but states are making the transition and are making test-blind policies more prevalent.
Schools that accept test-blind scores
While essays and recommendation letters can be subjective, standardized test scores are quantitative and can set you apart. It’s important to note that test-blind schools are not for those who excel at standardized tests, and that most have only gone test-blind temporarily. But if your test scores are excellent enough to get into one of these schools, there are ways to get into a school that doesn’t require these scores.
One test-blind college is Hampshire College. This private liberal arts college is renowned for its academic excellence and honors students for their community engagement and exceptional creativity. The school emphasizes authentic assessment and offers detailed narrative evaluations from professors, which they use to determine academic progress. The college also requires its students to work closely with faculty to design a personalized course of study, and students complete a yearlong final project instead of traditional standardized tests.
While test-blind schools don’t require standardized tests, applicants who need merit-based scholarships are advised to submit their scores. However, test-blind schools rely on other components of an application, including GPA, rather than standardized tests. If your test scores are low, you may still be able to get into a test-blind school if you put extra effort into your other application components.
More than half of the top 200 schools have declared a test-blind policy and over two-thirds of them have declared a test-optional or test-flexible policy. But there are still many of these top schools that require test scores for admissions. They include Georgetown, UNC Chapel Hill, Georgia Tech, Florida State University, and the University of California system. Check with your college of choice to learn if they have a test-blind policy.
In recent years, a number of large research universities and liberal arts colleges have adopted the position that standardized tests are not a good indicator of college performance. While they are still widely used, the standardized test scores put underrepresented students at a disadvantage, they also reduce the ethnic diversity of college students. This is especially problematic in minority and low-income backgrounds. In addition, they have become an added source of anxiety for many applicants.