SAT/ACT; Any Takers?


As the Fall admission season of 2021 approaches, C.H.S seniors face the decision of wether to take the SAT/ACT or sit this year out.

Kiran Matthews, Entertainment Editor

In light of new testing cancellations and Covid-19 obstacles, many colleges and universities have decided to go “test-optional” for the Fall 2021 admission season. Many junior and senior students are left to decide whether to take either the SAT or ACT or instead sit the exams out.


Over the past summer, more than half of all 4-year colleges decided to switch to an optional setting regarding the requirement of SAT or ACT scores for admission. This change occurred due to Coronavirus impacts, which made finding testing locations and times extremely difficult for students around the country. While some institutions say this optional policy will only last for 2021 admissions, some decided on a 3-year pause for testing scores requirements. Other universities downright decided that testing requirements put too much stress on students, leading them to cease the obligation of test scores in applications altogether. 


To clarify the idea of test optionality, it’s important to note that there have been multiple ideas of this in college’s eyes. Truly test-optional institutions are allowing students to make their own decision regarding sending test scores in along with entrance essays and applications. However, if applying students do take time to incorporate scores into their applications, the school will consider them, yet will likely contemplate other aspects more seriously.  On the other hand, genuinely test blind schools have decided that even if scores are sent in, no consideration will be given to them in the application process.


With this being said, some students or their parents still believe that not taking part in these exams will negatively impact the entrance process overall. Senior Brynn Sprinkle says “I didn’t take the SAT or ACT this year because I felt like adding stress to the first semester of senior year wasn’t worth it”, which gives a valid look into the reasons students may take a break from the exams this year. 


To get more insight into how the decision is leaving stress on our own highschool seniors, a recent survey was sent out to collect data on whether students planned to take either the SAT or ACT during the Fall.  Rowan Miller, C.H.S junior says he is still planning on completing one or the other. When asked why he thought the decision would be a beneficial one, he responded, “Even if some colleges don’t care much, it won’t hurt. Sure, it won’t exactly be fun, but it’s not a huge deal. Besides, parental pressure.” While test optionality does open up room for students who chose not to take the exams this year, completing them will not negatively affect any chances of getting to college.


While colleges undoubtedly understand the struggle students have faced finding testing opportunities, they do have admiration for those who continue searching for a chance. While yes, sending in SAT or ACT scores might not be required for many students this year, there may still be benefits to forwarding them nevertheless. Almost 60% of college scholarships still require test completion regarding qualification since many colleges use scores to determine eligibility for merit scholarships of incoming students. While these things may not be necessary to some students, they must be considered in the long run. 


Everything aside, the effects of the Coronavirus are the root of this optional situation. Some students during this time are facing demanding circumstances with personal conditions. This time remains an uncertain one, and for many students, even the smallest breath of fresh air in academic situations can serve as a lifesaver.