SAT/ACT Changes That Came During Summer


“Scantron-1972” by karlalalis is marked with CC PDM 1.0

Reo Lee, Editor

With the annual time of college admissions rolling around yet again, another fresh batch of seniors are applying for the school of their choice, hoping for good news to be sent back in a few weeks time. This year, however, students have a choice that has never been an option before: the choice to forgo submitting an SAT/ACT score without it being detrimental to the application process.

The recent COVID pandemic altered many aspects of everyday life, including the world of academics. Around the middle of March when the COVID virus took off, many juniors were testing or waiting to test for the SAT/ACT.

“I was signed up to take multiple SAT tests in the coming months before COVID hit,” Blanca Torres said. “Everything got canceled eventually.”

Testing is an important step for students looking to attend college or university after graduating high school. When the world was forced to shut down, standardized testing also came to an abrupt halt.

As students gradually started to question what college applications would be like during the pandemic, schools around the nation brought up the topic of waiving the usual requirement of standardized test scores. Most, if not all, colleges are giving students the choice of whether they want to submit their scores. Even prestigious Ivy League schools such as Harvard University received significant media coverage for changing.

The reactions of this finalized policy change for the class of 2021 have mixed results. Many students are glad that they have the choice not to submit their scores, especially with the long-standing argument about getting rid of standardized test scores.

“Since the tests got canceled, I was worried for my application process,” Torres said. “I am glad that schools are making the scores optional this year.”

Others are slightly wary whether or not the college application process will be fair for all students, considering some will have test scores to be judged from.

Although the majority of students are pleased with the change, others point out that without standardized test scores, the only way to demonstrate academic ability is through the essay writing portion of the application process or through high school GPA. This proves to be another disadvantage for some students as there are many who do not consider writing to be their strong suit. The essay seems to be weighed a lot heavier than normal years, especially for students who choose not to submit SAT/ACT scores.