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The SAT Is So 2020! Or Is It?

The SAT Is So 2020! Or Is It?

Scantron with pencil sharpener on it and a hand holding a pencil.

Everyone (including me) thought (hoped??) the ACT and SAT were going the way of mullets and leg warmers. Apparently, we were wrong.

While Cal State decided to eliminate the standardized test requirement, MIT just announced that they are requiring standardized test scores for the class of 2027 and beyond.  How long will it be until other top tier schools follow suit?

But wait, I heard that all colleges were going test-optional.

Students across the country have been betting that standardized tests would no longer be required.  And it looks like many schools will continue with their test-optional policy. The problem for students is that you can’t be sure which ones will want scores this fall.

Why are some schools requiring test scores?

MIT says, “Our research shows standardized tests help us better assess the academic preparedness of all applicants, and also help us identify socioeconomically disadvantaged students who lack access to advanced coursework or other enrichment opportunities that would otherwise demonstrate their readiness for MIT.”

Basically, MIT thinks the ACT and SAT are still good predictors of how well you will do in college.  The Florida and Georgia public schools have continued to require them, even while so many other schools were going test-optional, for similar reasons.

Many schools believe it’s not the test that’s unfair; rather they believe that test scores are an indication of an unfair society.

So what should I do?

I’m recommending that my students take either the ACT or SAT (there’s no need to study for both as colleges who accept/require scores, will take either one).  If you score high enough to send it to the colleges you’re applying to, great.  If not, make sure that you apply to test-optional and/or test-blind schools.

No matter which way you decide to apply – with or without scores, be sure you focus on the other aspects that colleges look for – a rigorous curriculum, good grades, strong activities and leadership, and essays that showcase who you are and what you’ll bring to the school.