Should my student take the SAT or ACT during the pandemic?

As we know, standardized tests didn’t exactly go as planned for the class of 2021.....

Propel Smart

April 8, 2022

As we know, standardized tests didn’t exactly go as planned for the class of 2021.  While some students were able to find a testing location, some even traveling to other states, not all students had the same luck.  There was also a noticeable discrepancy for many students between their test score(s) and their school performance.  For students with less than desirable or no scores to report, the option to leave them off of their college applications was beneficial.

Now as not all students have taken the tests they’d planned to this year, schools have already started to announce their testing policies for 2021 applications from transfer students and the class of 2022.  The majority of schools are sticking to being test optional, while others are going to fully test blind.  So, going back to the question being asked by parents everywhere, the short answer is yes.  The longer answer is to plan for your student to take them once.  From there, if they can potentially increase their score with a retake, give it another go.  If the score would need to jump by leaps and bounds to reach a score worth submitting, let them direct their focus elsewhere.

While the college application process is known to be stressful, it doesn’t have to be.  Students should use the gift of test optional policies to refocus.  Have them work on making a balanced college list, researching and applying to scholarships, and building an application that demonstrates the student’s strengths.  So maybe the better questions are which schools have already announced that they’re test-optional, and will these changes become permanent.  The below list of more well-known schools will likely grow daily, and while some such as Indiana University and RIT have already announced that these changes will be permanent, that list will likely grow as well.

American University, Amherst College, Bard College, Baylor University, Berklee College of Music, Boston College, Brandeis University, Bucknell University, Butler University, CIT, Case Western Reserve University, Columbia (College and University), Cornell University, DePaul University, Elon University, Emerson College, Fordham University, George Washington University, Gettysburg College, Haverford College, Harvey Mudd College, Indiana University, Loyola University (Chicago and Marymount), Macalester College, Northwestern University  Oberlin College, Ohio University, Rice University, Santa Clara University, Sarah Lawrence University, Scripps College, Skidmore College, Smith College, Swarthmore College, Temple University, Tufts University, Tulane University, University of Arizona, University of California System, University of Chicago, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts (Amherst), University of Oregon, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, Villanova University, and Wake Forest University.

If you don’t see a school your student is interested in listed, message me to see if they are test optional or even test blind at


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