Though so-called “test optional schools” are popping up more and more these days, they are a relatively new phenomenon. And, there’s a downside to test-optional colleges.
Also, even though some schools are trying out the latest trend, there is no guarantee that they will stick with it through your application process.
So, when asked the question, “Do I really need to take the SAT or ACT? And do I need to take the tests seriously?” I always answer with an emphatic YES!
Personally, I am a huge fan of covering my bases. I’d rather do a little too much work and be prepared for anything than roll the dice and come up short of my dream school’s requirements. That was my philosophy in high school when I was deciding on the classes I took (all AP & IB coursework) and it’s an avenue I encourage my students to consider.
Some people are totally cool with rolling the dice. If that’s you – great! But when I’m asked this question, I always advise that students have at least 1 official test score that they are proud of.
Should you choose to not submit your scores – no harm, no foul. If you end up needing the scores to apply to a school you really want to go to, you’ll be happy that you’re prepared!
A side note: neither the SAT or ACT is preferred by any college. Colleges that require exams will accept and consider both equally.
So – what will you do? Will you take the SAT, ACT, or opt out entirely? Leave your answer and any questions you may have in the comments below!