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BREAKING NEWS: Colleges Are Bringing Back Required ACT/SAT Scores

Youth Voices

Fri, June 07

Breaking news: Colleges you know and love are returning the required ACT/SAT scores!

Schools like Brown, Georgetown, the University of Florida, Yale, the University of Georgia, and many more have decided to bring these scores back—for good!

In this article, you will find out what this means for you and the next graduation class. Is this a huge issue or a blessing in disguise?

Why did schools go test-optional?

100's of colleges all over the country instituted a test-optional policy for all applicants starting in the spring of 2020, including all of the Ivy Leagues. Originally, this change was done to accommodate the safety regulations due to COVID-19. Testing sites were closed, which became a barrier for students.

By law, students weren't allowed to enter the test sites, and they couldn't go to school normally. So, leaving it mandatory didn't make sense at the time.

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Why We Should be Leaping for Joy

This may be a hard bargain to sell, but good things can come from SAT or ACT scores being mandated at colleges again.

With this score, colleges can better measure different applicants from different backgrounds. It helps them see your strengths in the main topics they find important. Continually, this helps them predict your success at their institution, which helps you determine which schools are the best fit for you and your abilities. These tests show a tiny snapshot of how you'll handle college work.

Your scores may also be a good indicator for you to figure out where you fall in the applicant pool. When applying to most schools, you can see their average SAT or ACT scores. So, with this information, you can decide where you fall in that range.

For schools that are still test-optional, you can see whether your score will help your application or not. If it's above the average, submit your score because it can only add to your success. These logistics can also help you determine whether a school is a reach, target, or match, which is crucial when making your college list.

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Another amazing thing that can come with mandated test scores is financial aid or scholarships. You can get scholarships and funding from schools you apply to based on your SAT or ACT score, amongst other things. Your test scores can positively affect how much financial aid you get, which, in the long run, can help you limit the amount of student loans you have to take out. Especially if your scores are fairly strong, you are bound to get some sort of compensation for that score.

Why Some People Don't Agree

Some people believe that bringing these test scores back to the college admissions process is unfair to certain groups. Many also believe that this test favors the richer community because they have the resources to do well on these tests.

They believe high schoolers with less funding or lower ranking can't do well. Which sort of makes sense, because if the school isn't teaching the students the material that will be on the test, how else are their students expected to do well?

It's a valid point, but it ultimately comes to the students. Those who do come from money may be able to afford tutors and fancy programs, so in that sense, they do have an advantage. However, other students can choose to get a book from the library or to use free online resources to help them succeed on this test. It comes down to the student and how badly the student wants to do well, not the money.

Stress is a huge issue that can result from these mandated test scores. Applying to college is stressful enough, but feeling as though you have to do extremely well on these tests to get in is a new level of hard. It's something you shouldn't have to carry. We constantly put so much pressure on ourselves, and this seems like another thing to top it off.

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Then, of course, we have the obvious issue that has existed for ages. These tests simply don't capture a student as a whole. It focuses on core subjects and fails to showcase other traits and academic abilities.

There is so much more to an individual than how they do on two or three sections of a standardized test. That's just my belief.

What to Know

Not every school is bringing back mandated test scores; only some are. We must be aware of these changes since they might directly affect some of us.

You won't be accepted or rejected from a school just because of your SAT or ACT scores. Remember that these scores do not define you but show you where you need to grow or learn more. They are simply benchmarks, and there are so many wonderful aspects about every one of you that these tests miss.

That's why your application requires more than just your scores and grades. There's more to you than just numbers.

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Free SAT/ACT Prep Resources:

  • The College Board
  • Varsity Tutors
  • Khan Academy
  • The Princeton Review (they do have free programs)

There are so many more options out there, but here are just a few of the best ones to help you on your journey through the SAT, ACT, college, and beyond!

Precious Simpson
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Writer since May, 2024 · 28 published articles

Precious is a high school junior in New England who likes to read and write in her spare time. She enjoys baking cupcakes. She enjoys watching the Gilmore Girls and The Summer I Turned Pretty. Precious is a writer for her school newspaper and an Executive Assistant Editor. Precious also works as an Editor for her school yearbook as well.