As one of the changes brought about to the college application process by COVID-19, students now have the option of submitting their SAT or ACT test scores to colleges.
“I like that there is less pressure now when it comes to test scores because I feel like my scores don’t truly resemble who I am as a student,” senior Meghan Bocinsky said. “I think it’s made applications less stressful in that sense, but I do feel a lot more pressure to write a really good college essay.”
When evaluating applications, colleges often take a holistic approach, which means they consider a variety of factors, including academic and non-academic characteristics, to determine whether a candidate is a good fit.. Making the submission of test scores optional would imply that students would have to demonstrate their academic accomplishment in other ways, such as stronger extracurricular activities and essays.
“My SAT score is below average at one of the schools I’m applying to,” senior Ainsley Jackson said. “I hope that applying test optional works in my favor because I feel like the other parts of my application are strong. However, I felt a lot of pressure to make my college application stand out because of the holistic approach, and I know that there are a lot of competitive applicants that apply without test scores. I think that getting accepted into colleges is becoming very competitive in today’s world, especially with the new test policy changes. I don’t think it is good for us to feel that we should be better than we actually are to get into college.”
By Ayah Saleh