If you are a rising senior who is trying to take the SAT in order to apply to college during the fall or spring of your senior year, it has undoubtedly been a stressful process. Many SAT and ACT test dates in the spring and early summer were canceled and it seemed uncertain when students would be able to take the test. However, the SAT is now being offered in August, September, October, November, and December to give students more opportunities to take the test. Students can now register, but some students are experiencing delays due to high demand for test dates. You can find more information about special circumstances and answers to frequently asked questions about taking the SAT this year on the fall registration page of the College Board website. Registration for fall ACT dates opens the last week of July, and ACT has also added additional test dates for the fall. However, many students are still wondering whether the colleges they are applying to will require testing.
Do The Colleges I am Applying to Require Testing?
While it is true that quite a few colleges such as the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech have made testing optional this year, many colleges are still requiring testing or have not yet made a decision. You can find a list sorted by state or a national list of colleges and universities that have made testing optional here. Out of the 47 public and private non-profit four-year colleges and universities in Virginia 24 have currently made testing optional. This means that if you are planning to apply to a handful of colleges, it is likely that there are several that still require testing. However, the best way to find out is to check. You can often find additional information on the admissions page of the college or university or by contacting their admissions office.
What Does Test-Optional Mean?
Some students mistakenly think that test-optional means that the school will not look at any test scores. However, most schools that are test-optional are reviewing test scores from students who submit them. They are just not requiring that all students submit test scores in order to be considered for admission. This means that even at test-optional schools, some students will submit test scores and some will not.
What is Test-Flexible?
Some schools that are not listed as test-optional are offering more flexibility with submitting SAT or ACT test scores. In addition, some test-flexible colleges allow students to submit tests other than the SAT or ACT for consideration.
What is Test-Blind?
Test-blind schools are not considering any SAT or ACT scores. At this point, there are quite a few schools with test-blind policies for SAT II tests, but not many schools are test-blind for the SAT and ACT.
Are All Students Excused from Taking the SAT and/or ACT this Year?
No, all high school rising seniors should, to the best of their ability, plan to study for and take the SAT and ACT during the available times. The only exception to this would be students who are only applying to schools with test-optional policies. Even at test-optional colleges, a score that matches or exceeds the grades on a student’s transcript will support a strong application. If a student receives a test score that would enhance their application, they should submit it. A high test score that exceeds the average for a particular school can increase a student’s chance of acceptance.
How Do I Prepare Since I am No Longer in School?
There are many ways to practice for the SAT and ACT from home. Check out a blog I wrote on this topic earlier in the summer. In addition to these at-home opportunities for practice, Parrish Learning Zone will be offering our SAT small group for the August test beginning next week. For the SAT and ACT we offer individual tutoring with licensed tutors. In addition, in July, August, and the fall we will be offering several additional SAT workshops to help students prepare or stay ready for the additional SAT tests offered during the first half of the school year.
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Nina Parrish, M. Ed.
Co-Owner and Director of Education
Proud mom of two adorable girls. Teacher who has developed an education business that started at a kitchen table and has grown into a thriving small business... Click here to Learn more about Nina.
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