by Nathaniel Dolquist
No. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools reevaluated the utility of including standardized testing in their admissions process. If testing is not your strong suit, you may be able to skip the tests if the school(s) you want to attend don’t require them. For more information, visit the schools’ websites and look at their testing policy.
Yes. Elite schools like the Ivy Leagues, private universities, and state schools still use the SAT and ACT in their admissions processes. Many scholarships and grants use these scores to determine eligibility and reward amounts. If you have strong academics but little access to advanced classes or extracurriculars, a strong test score can work in your favor during the admissions process.
Remember, standardized tests are just one check mark on your application. The personal essay, supplement essays, academic rigor of your schedule, and extracurriculars can help those who don’t test well show their skill and ability. Students who engage in a tutoring process are much more likely to score well on these tests: a tutor can teach you the format of each test, point out recurring question formats, review grammar and math content, and help you build confidence so that you can achieve your best score.