Standardized Testing

Traditionally, standardized testing was a significant component in evaluating student competitiveness for undergraduate admission. Though there have been 100’s of colleges since the 1980s that became test-optional (you could either submit your highest ACT/SAT super-score or not and it would not affect the final admissions decision), it wasn’t until 2020 that the vast majority of colleges in the United States decided it was a health risk to have young adults near one another taking the ACT/SAT in the classroom/open environments. In addition, many educational organizations (Federal, Stata, and private) have long criticized both exams as being racially and/or socio-economically biased. Finally, colleges that went test-optional in 2020 (and the vast majority still retain test-optional admission policies) believed they could accurately evaluate candidates without a “flawed” standardized exam while using “other” supplemental criteria that were both objective and subjective. Many of the most selective colleges in the United States remain test-optional, including the 8 Ivy League schools, Northwestern University, Duke University, NYU, Rice University, Stanford University, The University of Chicago, Tufts University, and Johns Hopkins University.

Some colleges WILL require standardized testing this forthcoming application year (2022-2023): They are:

  • MIT
  • Georgetown U.
  • GA Tech.
  • Georgia
  • Purdue U.
  • New College (FL
  • Tennessee

But, can I still submit my SAT or ACT if I have a score that is congruent (or better) than my in-classroom achievement?

If you ask 10 people in education and undergraduate admissions, you may get 10 varying answers. However, though colleges profess not to be inhibited from making accurate evaluative decisions on student applicants that do not submit an ACT/SAT score (and I do believe this after discussing with numerous directors of undergraduate admissions at major colleges and universities), there is something visual and defining with students who submit higher scores. What’s a “higher score”? It is, of course, relatively based on one’s cumulative GPA, degree of course rigor, activities, and a college’s “institutional interests.”

For example… If a student is a moderate achiever (2.5-3.0) in grades 9-11 and hails from a single-parent home and will be the first in the family to attend college, then a score of 1200 SAT/ 25 ACT or better would most likely reinforce to the admissions committee that said student has intellectual potential. There are so many more machinations and conditions where a student would either submit or not submit a standardized test score; however, it is best to ask your college counselor for strategic advice on this topic.


ACT Test Dates (2022-2023)


ACT Registration (2022-23)


SAT Test Dates/Registration (2022-2023)