Required? NOT

SAT and ACT scores are optional for college applications this year.


Victoria Chavez

After the COVID-19 pandemic has caused over ⅔ of US colleges to make the SAT and ACT optional in their application requirements, high school students have become aware of this change in the college application process.

“I know colleges are being a lot more lenient on SAT and ACT scores,” senior Omari Sandifer said. “High school hasn’t been full in the last couple of years and everyone hasn’t been on the same level of education.”

Numerous current seniors are greatly affected by this information.

“It will definitely make us feel less stressed out because our college acceptance will no longer be defined by one test,” senior Madison Gibb said.

Colleges are viewing students differently in the application process and advisors are starting to realize this change.

“Now colleges look more at students’ grades because some people aren’t good test takers,” College Advisor Gilberto Gonzalez said. “They’re looking more holistically and that’s a better view of the person themself instead of being just a number. So, I like it better that they are [not making it a requirement] and hopefully it stays that way.”

Although the SAT and ACT test students on their knowledge over certain subjects, students don’t believe it is an accurate representation of their skills.

“I feel like some people are smarter in different categories whether it be writing, reading, or math,” senior Adrien Laco said. “Someone may not be really good at writing, so their score will plummet because of that; but, they could be really good at math and vice versa.”

Meanwhile, these tests affect student’s mental health.

“I don’t think my SAT or ACT scores are accurate representations of my skills,” senior LaRita Albert said. “I personally have testing anxiety, so I tend to freak out before a test and it just throws my mind off completely.”

Students will now be more eager to apply to colleges as SAT and ACT test scores are not required for college applications.

“If a school has a high SAT score requirement for admissions and students don’t have that requirement, they will be discouraged from applying,” Gonzalez said. “Now that it’s optional, they will be more encouraged to apply.”

Even though many colleges won’t require test scores, there are still benefits to taking the exams.

“I think it’s going to be great for a lot of students who did take the test,” Advanced Academic Coordinator Alicia Upton said. “They are still going to have the opportunity to get those scholarship rewards.”

Knowing this change in college requirements, advice is given to current students. 

“I would tell seniors and juniors, especially this year, to take the SAT and to take it a couple of times,” Upton said. “Don’t be afraid. There are a lot of steps to this process, so don’t wait, let’s get our applications done now.”