The SAT and ACT describe the standardized tests that give college admission teams a comparable metric when evaluating applications. Due to many difficulties administering these tests during the global pandemic, many colleges revised admission requirements by making the SAT and ACT optional for admissions (otherwise known as test-optional) during the past two years (2020-2021).
But as students return to a sense of normalcy in 2022, many universities chose to remain test-optional for applications this fall and will likely continue for the foreseeable future. You may wonder if registering and studying for the SAT or ACT is still necessary when a volume of colleges opted for the test-optional approach. Well, Test Prep Score is here to tell you that the SAT and ACT still matter in 2022.
Even with most colleges going test-optional, every college you apply to will acknowledge the scores that you submit. As such, a fantastic score on the SAT or ACT can still bolster your application and possibly help make up for a lower GPA. Even the act of completing one of the tests can certainly make you a more respected candidate than others who may have chosen to skip them.
Best of all, you can always choose not to send the score you receive to colleges. Thus, taking the SAT or ACT can improve your application substantially if you perform well; but, even if you do not, you can still decide to withhold sending your scores to most colleges. This avoids any negative repercussions of submitting a lower than ideal score.
While the number of colleges that still require an SAT or ACT score remains low (currently at only a few dozen schools), a fair number of them are based in New York, as well as other nearby states that are possible picks for New Jersey students. You can find a full list here. You may consider applying to one or more of these schools, and, as of now, you will be completely unable to do so without an SAT or ACT score. Even if you do not plan to apply to any of these schools now, your list of colleges may change. You do not want to regret skipping the SAT or ACT, especially if doing so disqualifies you from these undergraduate programs.
Moreover, while they do not directly require a standardized test for admission, several Ivy League schools, as well as other prestigious universities such as the University of Chicago recommend taking one. These universities have commented on their preference to see an SAT or ACT score to give them a better metric to compare academic ability among applicants. This is primarily because different high schools may use drastically different methods of weighing GPA, and may grade more generously, which can result in GPA discrepancies from school to school.
Thus, some applicants may have higher GPAs simply due to the method school districts use to calculate this score. This difference is a primary reason why these universities highly encourage sending in a standardized test score; it allows them to give a fair comparison of each applicant that, unlike GPA, is absent of any high school-specific influence.
While they may be a pain to prepare for, taking the SAT or ACT will only improve your college application, which may be the differentiating factor between you and another candidate. While only a handful of universities require submitting a score, no application to any school is diminished by taking the test, even if you do not do as well as you hoped. It is a win-win situation to take the SAT or ACT in 2022.
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