University Of Texas At Austin
Courtesy of University of Texas at Austin.
Want to be super hip without the rain? The Austin branch of UT is not only test-optional, theyve also released a report advocating for a reduced emphasis on SAT scores in college admissions decisions. Also, Austin hosts South by Southwest, an extremely chill music, film, and media festival that occurs every year. So, its basically the best.
Courtesy of Colleges That Change Lives.
This institution recently joined the test-optional colleges club, giving applicants the alternative of applying through a portfolio path. Instead of test scores, applicants can submit creative work, including photo journals and creative writing, in order to best demonstrate their skills. However, this is a three-year-long pilot program, so Cornell could resume requiring test results for applicants as soon as 2018.
What Is Test Flexible
While a test-flexible policy requires you to send test scores, it might allow for different options in place of the SAT. For example, some schools might waive their test requirements if you meet a minimum GPA or are applying to a specific program, while others might let you send AP scores or IB scores in lieu of SAT scores.
The rationale is that these scores can demonstrate subject mastery and therefore reveal your own particular academic interests and motivations.
NYU’s test-flexible policy, for example, states the following:
- Three IB higher-level exam scores if not an IB Diploma candidate
- Certain international qualifications that shows you completed your secondary education.”
Because the specifics of test-flexible policies can vary from school to school, you should check with your colleges of interest to make sure you’re fulfilling the application requirements. This info should be available on each school’s website, but if not, definitely call and speak to an admissions officer directly.
You’ll not only get the info you need but also demonstrate your interest and a proactive approach to the college, which could ultimately help you stand out from other applicants.
Some highly ranked test-flexible schools include the following:
- Brandeis University
- Colby College
As you can see, schools have different approaches to SAT scores and how much they weigh into your application .
Analyze The Strength Of Your Application
If you’re applying to colleges that do not require the SAT or that have test-flexible options, it’ll help you to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Have you achieved a strong SAT score, or is your academic ability better represented through AP tests and IB exams? Will these scores strengthen your application, or do they not truly represent your skills and abilities? Where do you shine the brightest?
Though SAT-optional policies are yet another thing to think about as you apply, having that choice can ultimately only work in your benefit. By making an informed and intentional decision, you have the power to shape the story you tell to admissions officers.
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How Might Not Submitting Test Scores Benefit You
Perhaps your test scores are lackluster. Are you an otherwise compelling candidate? Do you have excellent grades, strong skills, impressive extracurricular activities? Do you show athletic prowess or leadership potential? You may stand out as a desirable candidate likely to excel in college even without test scores.
Some people with demonstrated ability do not score as well on tests than expected. Are you among them? If you choose not to submit test scores, you need an otherwise strong presentation. You may be more likely to gain admission at a test-optional college without test scores than with thembut theres no guarantee.
Do I Need The Sat If More Schools Are Going Test
A seemingly growing list of schools – especially with the coronavirus! – are going test-optional: giving you the option to apply to college without submitting SAT/ACT scores. Because most schools are not test-optional, and most highly competitive colleges still require SAT/ACT scores, you may wonder:
If I dont submit my test score, will this put me at a disadvantage?
Is submitting a low test score better than submitting none?
Is increasing my score on the SAT a good way to spend my time?
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Do All Colleges Require The Sat
Some colleges and universities had started dropping their entrance exam requirements even before COVID-19 cancelled SAT and ACT exam dates. Since the pandemic began, many more institutions have switched to a test-optional or test-flexible model.
What does this mean for you? At a test-optional school, you can choose whether to include SAT scores in your application. A test-flexible school might waive their SAT requirement if you meet a minimum GPA or have qualifying AP scores. A few schools are test-blind, which means they do not want you to submit scores at all.
How Do I Explain Why Im Not Submitting Test Scores To Colleges
One of the colleges I’m applying to wants test-optional students to submit a statement about why they are applying test optional. For me it’s because I only had a chance to test once due to COVID-19 and those scores weren’t good, and then the pandemic arrived. But I think they’re going to wonder why that one sitting was bad. What should I say in this statement?
“The Dean” is irked by colleges that aren’t demanding test scores this year and yet still expect applicants to explain why they’re not submitting them. So if the application hasn’t required you to say that you did test that one time, you can simply say:
“My intended test dates last spring and summer were canceled, and the closest test site I could find was in a state several hours from home. My school counselor is adamant that students should not travel for tests and that colleges with test-optional policies won’t penalize those who apply test-optional.”
But if you are asked about your testing history, it’s a bad idea to lie outright. Instead, you can use the answer above but preface it with this:
I tested one time without preparation because I wanted to use the initial test to help me identify weaknesses and to prepare for the “real” SAT , which I planned to take at least once more and possibly twice. But then, due to COVID-19, my two intended test dates last spring and summer were canceled …
Or … you can even go out on a limb and take a crusader’s stance:
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Submit Subject Area Tests
If the full SAT is not on your radar or your scores were not what you wanted, the SAT subject area tests may provide an additional method for college admission. Around 160 colleges accept SAT subject area tests rather than the full SAT for admission. Since these tests show your knowledge on subjects such as English, history, mathematics, science and foreign languages, they are often a good predictor of your performance in those subjects at the college level. These tests are offered multiple times throughout the year. Sit for the subjects based on your strengths in your high school coursework.
Sat Subject Test Requirements
Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.
Queens College has indicated that SAT subject tests are recommended. Typically this means that SAT subject tests are not required, but submitting them can showcase particular strengths. For example, if you’re applying to an engineering school, submitting science and math SAT subject tests will boost your application.
Typically, your SAT/ACT and GPA are far more heavily weighed than your SAT Subject Tests. If you have the choice between improving your SAT/ACT score or your SAT Subject Test scores, definitely choose to improve your SAT/ACT score.
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University Of Texas At Arlington
- SAT score: 1100
- ACT score: 23
- Award amount: $2,000 to $8,000
It may not be a party school alright. However, the students of the University of Texas at Arlington or UTA find it easy to make a lot of friends. Thats because it is an ethnically and culturally diverse school. Education-wise, its most popular majors are Liberal Arts and Sciences, Biological and Biomedical Science, and General Studies and Humanities.
University Of The People
University of the People is an accredited online university that is dedicated to providing access to higher education for all those around the world who want it. To that end, not only does UoPeople not require students to submit SAT or ACT scores, but all of its courses are completely tuition-free. Its degree programs range from bachelors degrees to masters degrees. Its online setup means students can pursue a degree at a time and place that works best for their unique situation.
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Take A Practice Test Like The Psat
Prepare for success on the SAT by taking the Preliminary SAT, or PSAT, as a sophomore or junior. Youâll get a feel for the test format and types of questions, and your scores can show you areas to focus on as you prepare for the SAT.
Tip: Taking the PSAT as a high school student qualifies you for the National Merit Scholarship. Each year, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation awards 7,500 scholarships to students that are among the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
Applicants Who Benefit From Test
According to Defining Access, standardized tests tend to favor white male students from affluent familiesstudents who have traditionally had the greatest access to top colleges. Women, immigrants, students of color, people with disabilities, and first-generation students tend to not score as well on standardized tests. Consequently, test-optional admission is an appealing option for many in these groups.
One of those groups is underrepresented minorities. The Defining Access study found that 35% of Black students chose not to submit standardized test scores, compared to 18% of white students. Similarly, women were less likely to submit test scores than men. And, although the numbers varied, schools that transitioned to test-optional admissions saw increases in the number of Black and Latino students both applying and getting accepted to their institutions.
First-generation college students are also common beneficiaries of test-optional admissions. Because applicants come from families that havent attended college, theyre less likely to get the support they need for navigating timelinessuch as when to take the PSAT, how to prep for the SAT and when to take the SAT. Its also common for first-generation applicants to come from lower-income families, meaning they lack the resourceslike test prep and tutoringof more affluent applicants.
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Heres What Mit Has To Say:
On the one hand, we know that testing is flawed. We know that the construction of testing is biased. We know that access to preparation and the time to engage in testing is not equitable.
But on the other hand, we also know that testing is a really strong predictor of success on our campus.
We know that students with stronger test scores are more likely to graduate on time and are more likely to have a higher GPA.
Identify Your Goal Sat Score From The List
Now arrange your schools in order of these score ranges, from highest to lowest. The schools at the top of the list would likely be your dream schools, with the target and safety schools in the middle and at the bottom of the list.
The high end of the range for the school highest on the list is your target SAT score. If you can get a score at or near the 75th percentile for the most competitive school on your list, chances are youâll be competitive at the other schools too.
Tip: Set a goal to score at or above the 75th percentile of SAT scores for the school you want to attend.
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Order Additional Score Reports
You can also order SAT score reports through your College Board accountany time after you get your scores. In your account, you can see all of your SAT test dates and scores and choose which ones to send out.
Here’s our advice about whether you should send your SAT scores after you see them:
- Pros: You can see all your scores first, so you can select only your best scores to be sent out .
- Cons: It costs$12 to send a score report to a college, and each report can include a number of test scores on it. In other words, if you want to send three SAT scores to the University of Vermont and two to the University of Hawaii, you’d pay $24. Note that rush reports cost more: $31.
Here are our recommendations for when to order additional SAT score reports:
- Send scores with your best section results to colleges that superscore the SAT. These schools make a new composite score using your best Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores from any SATs you took.
- Send your single highest score to colleges that neither superscore nor require all your scores, to SAT scholarship programs, and to the NCAA if you plan to play college sports.
What Can I Do If I Still Want To Take An Exam
If specific academic programs or scholarships do require scores, one option is to look for ACT on Campus, also known as residual testing. About 700 colleges participate, proctoring the ACT on their campus for students who missed national test dates. Scores are only good for that particular campus, however. Check a schools website or contact the admissions office to find out if that college participates.
ACT has also been scheduling pop-up sites, such as hotels or conference centers, so if a regular test site closes, students may get redirected to the new site. But whether these sites can accommodate enough students remains to be seen. Marker-Robbins also suggests talking to your high school about hosting an exam for your schools students only.
If testing proves impossible, discuss alternatives with admissions counselors at your colleges. Make sure to add colleges to your list that dont require scores for scholarships, and most of all, experts say, trust the schools when they say theyre test optional.
Washington state senior Liam Reynolds is taking them at their word and dumping testing, despite the prep he completed for the canceled Sept. 26 test.
I feel like Ill get more out of my time if I devote my energy to studying for my classes and working on applications, he says.
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Sat/act Writing Section Requirements
Both the SAT and ACT have an optional essay section.
Queens College considers the SAT Essay/ACT Writing section optional and may not include it as part of their admissions consideration. You don’t need to worry too much about Writing for this school, but other schools you’re applying to may require it.
If Applying Without A Test Score:
All applicants applying without a test score must submit a and extracurricular activitiesboth can be submitted through Common App or ApplyTexas. Make sure to complete these sections before you finish and submit your application. You will not be able to go back and add your admissions essay or extracurricular activities once youve submitted your application.
If you don’t meet the assured admissions requirements, we may require additional documentation , which we’ll request from you to help us make our decision.
Changed your mind? If you want to change how your application is reviewed fill out the Admissions Review Option Change Form. You cannot submit this request if you have already received an admissions decision.
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What Kind Of Academic Profile Do I Need
If you are planning not to submit SAT or ACT scores to a prospective college, ask yourselfwhat other components of my application stand out? Determine whether your grades, essays, and/or extracurricular record can truly distinguish you as an applicant and will inspire your prospective colleges to vote Yes. These application materials will be even more heavily scrutinized now that your admissions officers are without an essential piece of information, which although biased, can still provide for meaningful comparisons between you and the rest of the applicant pool.
A test score-free application is going to be transcript-reliant which is fine for students hailing from most public and private high schools across the United States. Colleges have a general understanding of the curriculum, level of rigor, and grading standards at most U.S. secondary schools. However, as Andrew Belasco told the The Washington Diplomat, international or non-traditional students do not share this luxury, making going test-optional a less legitimate option in these circumstances.
Sat And Act Policies And Score Ranges For Popular Colleges And Universities
Compass has compiled score range data and admission testing policies for popular colleges and universities, public and private, chosen to represent a wide array of four-year postsecondary institutions in the U.S.
The SAT and ACT scores in the table below represent the most recently reported scores available. You can use these new ranges to better understand the typical test scores of enrolled students. These scores should not be viewed as cutoffs or qualifying scores. Additionally the table includes application data, an explanation of relevant test optional policies e.g. temporary suspension of the testing requirement, permanently TO, or Test Free .
Students who choose not to submit test scores when applying to colleges will be evaluated holistically. In the absence of a test score, admissions officers may bring an even greater focus to the students academic achievements. Students especially should strive to do very well in school and maintain the strongest possible GPA in classes that challenge them appropriately. Compass offers academic tutoring in over 50 subjects to help students maximize their scholastic potential. We have a strong team of subject specific expert tutors to guide the program from start to finish. We also offer a Study Skills and Organizational Coaching program to provide students with the tools they need to excel in the classroom.
For more information about college admission testing, please visit compassprep.com/guide.
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