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SAT/ACT, Should I Prepare For It?

3 Min Read
November 03, 2022

by: Calysta Aurelia Tesiman

In the wake of the novel Coronavirus pandemic last year, many US universities adopted the Test-Optional policy which allows applying seniors to choose whether or not to submit standardized test scores. As this year's application season is coming around the corner, many schools are planning to implement Test-Optional policies for this year and the following years to come. Now you might be wondering: Should I still prepare for the SAT/ACT? Keep reading to find out.

What is Test-Optional Policy anyway?

Like the name, Test-Optional Policy lets applicants choose whether to submit their SAT/ACT scores. This policy came to be due to the pandemic as not a lot of students are able to sit for their exams due to government regulations on social distancing and COVID-19, thus giving disadvantaged applicants an equal chance in the application process. When you submit your test scores, the admission officers will then take into account your test scores, but may focus on other aspects of your application. 

Some schools like the University of California schools even applied the Test Blind policy, which means that admission officers will completely ignore any standardized test scores submitted by an applicant. This means that the admission officer will solely focus on other aspects of your application like Extracurriculars, Essays, and school transcripts. 

Lastly, some schools adopt the Text Flexible Policy which allows you to submit any test grades that are relevant to your application. If you didn't do so well in the SAT, you can opt to submit another exam where you scored better. 

I've taken the SAT/ACT, what now?

If you've taken the SAT in the past and you've scored well, that's great! Though you have a choice to submit or not, it's better to submit your scores. This will help you create a more “complete” application and gives the admission officers the idea that you were well prepared for the SAT/ACT.

I've not taken the SAT/ACT, should I still do it?

If you've not taken the SAT/ACT, you are probably wondering if you still need to prepare for the SAT/ACT and sit for the tests. The truth is, even if many schools are test-optional this year, this doesn't mean that you can't still maximize the opportunity to boost your application. If you still have time, consider preparing for the SAT and register for an upcoming test. Submitting a standardized test score would put you in a more advantageous position and boost your chance of admission. 

Keep in mind that if you are applying to a Test Blind school, you need not submit your test scores. 

If I don't submit my SAT/ACT scores, will it hurt my chances?

If the University that you're applying to doesn't require you to submit it, then your application won't be seen as lesser than other applicants. However, submitting the SAT/ACT will definitely boost the competitiveness of your application.

Another added benefit of submitting your SAT/ACT scores is that your score can be used as added evidence for you to qualify for scholarships and financial aid. This means that preparing and sitting for the SAT/ACTs is definitely more beneficial in the long run.

This sums up the Test-Optional Policy and answers some questions revolving around this new policy. As the 2022 Application season is coming around the corner, make sure you do the best you can to prepare for university applications to maximize your chances of admission.

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