The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a number of changes in the standardized testing industry, including the launch of a new, totally digital testing format and the transition of several colleges to a test-optional admissions process for the 2020-21 academic year. In fact, during the 2021-22 admissions cycle, 75% of four-year schools and universities will not require SAT or ACT results.
Also Read: How to Decide Where to Study Abroad
This Blog Includes:
- What is Test-Optional College?
- What are the Other Requirements?
- Variations in Test-Optional Policies
- Test Optional Colleges & University in 2022-23
- Colleges with Permanently Test Optional Policy
- Points to Remember before Applying to a Test Optional Institution
What is Test-Optional College?
Test-Optional colleges are those that do not require overseas students to take the SAT or ACT in order to get admitted. So, if you haven’t taken the SAT or ACT, these are the colleges for you. However, if you have previously completed these exams and had terrible results, you can simply omit to give your unsatisfactory test scores to the college during the application process. Your application will be reviewed based on your academic profile, even if you submit your SAT and ACT scores. As a result, you must maintain a high GPA throughout your academic career.
What are the Other Requirements?
If you believe that your GPA is the sole factor that the college will examine when analyzing your profile, you are mistaken. There are numerous more elements that influence your admissions decision. These are the factors:
Statement of Purpose
SOP is a factor that can help you get into college or keep you out. It’s the one time you won’t have to rely on others to represent you in front of the admissions committee. Even if your GPA is low, a strong SOP can help you get into your dream college. The Statement of Purpose explains why you want to attend that college and course, why you are qualified, and what your strong interests are. So create your SOP in such a way that it reveals who you are and what your passions are to the admissions committee.
Letter of Recommendation
Having letters of recommendation from your high school instructors, seniors, or internships (if any) will help your application stand out from the crowd.
Aside from the SOP, essay prompts are another thing that might help you stand out from the crowd. It’s a means for a college to assess a student’s experimental thinking and ability. This is where you can express the core of ‘You,’ things that other sections of the application do not address.
Participating in a variety of extracurricular activities can help you gain some bonus points. It adds a lot of value to your application, especially if you haven’t applied for the SAT/ACT yet.
The cherry on top is being a part of a few solid projects or having some experience in the field for which you are applying, i.e. your Undergrad major. Internships are something that few students, particularly in India, like to pursue throughout their high school years. So, if you have an internship certificate, you may rest assured that your application is already quite appealing to the admissions committee.
Variations in Test-Optional Policies
Here are some examples of test score policies that could be used:
- Test-optional admissions policy for some
Institutions allow you to opt-out of submitting SAT or ACT scores provided your GPA or class rank fulfils the minimum standards. Scores are required of some applicants, such as homeschooled or international students, regardless of GPA. ‘Test flexible’ is an unusual version of this. This means you may be able to meet the school’s admission standards by taking an exam other than the SAT or ACT, such as AP Exams. Even rarer is ‘test blind,’ which means that even if test scores are supplied, the college will not look at them.
- Test-optional admissions policy for all
In some situations, the college permits students to choose whether or not to submit test scores on their own. “If you believe your results are an appropriate representation of your skills, feel free to submit them,” applicants are informed. If you have any doubts, don’t.”
- Test optional for admissions, but required for placement or scholarships
Some test-optional universities require SAT or ACT scores for purposes other than admissions, such as academic counselling and placement or institutional research. Students who do not submit their results with their applications will be expected to do so prior to arriving at school.
Test Optional Colleges & University in 2022-23
- Adelphi University
- Boston College
- Boston University
- Brown University
- Cornell University (through high school class of 2024)
- Dartmouth College
- Harvard University (through high school class of 2026)
- Johns Hopkins University (through high school class of 2026)
- Oglethorpe University
- Northwestern University
- Northeastern University (through high school class of 2026)
- Princeton University
- Rhodes College
- Rhode Island School of Design
- St. Louis University
- Trinity University
- University of Alabama (through high school class of 2024)
- Tufts University (3-year pilot)
- Stanford University
- University of Pennsylvania
- Washington University in St. Louis
- Vassar College
- Williams College
- University of Vermont
- Yale University
- University of Virginia
Colleges with Permanently Test Optional Policy
- American University
- Bard College
- Bates College
- Bennington College
- Bowdoin College
- Brandeis University
- Bryn Mawr College
- Bucknell University
- Clark University
- Colby College
- Colorado College (permanently test optional)
- Connecticut College
- Denison University
- Dickinson College
- Earlham College
- Franklin and Marshall College
- Furman University)
- George Washington University
- Gettysburg College
- Hobart and William Smith Colleges
- Knox College
- Lawrence University
- Lewis and Clark College
- Macalester College
- Mount Holyoke College
- Muhlenberg College
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Points to Remember before Applying to a Test Optional Institution
- There Are Different Types of Test-Optional Schools
Students at a test-optional college can choose whether or not to submit their test scores with their application. Most test-optional colleges will take SAT and ACT results into account if they are submitted, but they will place a greater emphasis on other characteristics that they believe are better predictors of a student’s ability to succeed in college. These colleges pay equally as much attention to a student’s essays, recommendations, grades, and coursework as they do to their test scores.
Students who attend a test-flexible college can submit scores from one or more SAT Subject Tests, an International Baccalaureate exam, or an Advanced Placement exam in place of the SAT or ACT. Even if you provide your test scores, a test-blind college will disregard them.
- Test-Optional Policies differ from College to College
Some test-optional rules are subject to limitations. Some institutions, for example, require test scores from out-of-state or international students, as well as those pursuing specific degrees. Some test-optional colleges may use an index based on your GPA, test scores, and class rank to establish your test-optional eligibility.
Some colleges may need you to submit test scores or take a placement exam in order to be placed in the freshman class. Some may want things other than exam scores, such as samples of your academic work, scientific research, or supplementary recommendation letters, in lieu of test scores. Many universities have amended or abolished some of these limits as a result of COVID-19, so check with the college to see how test scores will be used in the admissions process.
- Other Parts of Your Application Will Be Carefully Scrutinized
Colleges want as much information as possible about you. Without test scores, other aspects of your application, such as grades and grade trends, essays, extracurricular activities, and achievements, would likely be required to persuade the college to admit you.
- Test Scores Might Be Required for Merit Scholarships
When it comes to merit scholarships, many test-optional universities look at test scores, so not submitting them could put you at a disadvantage. Before applying for a scholarship, double-check all of the prerequisites.
The list of universities that don’t require a test is constantly changing, especially in light of recent policy changes in reaction to the coronavirus. Always double-check the policy with the college, either on their website or by calling their admissions office.
Yes, in a word. The SAT is valued by the majority of college admissions officers, including those at test-optional universities. Even if you don’t think standardized examinations are your strongest suit, there are some compelling reasons to do so:
You’re going to keep your choices open.
You’ll stand out from the crowd of applications.
You can be eligible for more than just admission.
A good SAT score might compensate for a poor GPA.
Although we recognize that not everyone enjoys taking tests, there are no disadvantages to taking the SAT. If you don’t perform as well as you’d like, you have complete control over if and where your scores are sent. Remember that everyone’s situation is unique, but we encourage you to broaden your options. Make sure you give yourself every chance to succeed. Consider taking the SAT. You’ll be able to make the greatest selection for yourself after you have a score.
We hope that this blog on Test-Optional Universities by Leverage Edu helps you. If you are interested in pursuing your further studies abroad or want help with the scholarships, then call our experts at 1800 572 000.