Many Students Choose to Focus on Test Scores
Test optional is amazing for students who are discouraged by their test scores, but it also offers opportunities to students with an affinity for standardized testing. These students look at voluntarily sending in high scores as a way of showing off their skills to colleges in a concrete way- and they’re right. While high test scores alone are not a guarantee of admission it can’t be denied that they give applicants an edge. Test scores are a tried and true means of distinction among admissions offices, so even schools that have gone test optional will be drawn to the familiar metric. High test scores now fall into the same category as awards, scholarships, and dedication to clubs or extracurriculars. They are not required, but they can only add to the value of your application.
When in Doubt, Send in Your Score
You should always speak with your guidance counselor, who will best tailor the situation to your personal application, but if you’re on the fence about your score you should probably just send it in. Not sending in a score leaves things open ended. Did you take the test at all? Or did you do so poorly you’re hiding it? The college won’t know and unfortunately you can’t control which side of the line they’ll fall on. Sending in an average-good score is better than leaving the admissions office to make their own assumptions.
Computer-Based Testing Will Soon Be Available
Digital tests will likely be available by 2024. Some reports say earlier, but we’re not holding our breath. This will change little about the testing scene other than availability. No more weather or coronavirus cancellations. No more driving hours to make it to the testing center. No more listening to that one guy who always seems to be at every test sniffling through the entire thing. Theoretically, it should make things a lot easier!
We hope that this series of updates has helped you feel more grounded in the field of standardized testing. With this, you can make the most of your college admissions planning. We hope to see you soon in the new year!