First of all, what does test-optional applications mean? When college applications are test-optional, it means that the SAT/ACT tests are not mandatory in order to apply. However, it doesn't mean that colleges aren’t using scores to assess incoming applications. It is essential to understand this difference because it is not in a student's best interest to automatically decide not to take the SAT/ACT without serious consideration of the following points.
Test-optional means that the SAT/ACT will NOT hurt your application, however, the opposite is also true for a good standardized test score. If you receive a high score, it has the power to make up for a mediocre application that lacks leadership, diversity and/or excellent grades. If your application needs a boost, it's a no brainer, TAKE THE TEST!
No one should submit a low score, but if your standardized score is high, colleges will use it to assess your application. A high score either backs up everything else on your application OR it strengthens your application and helps you stand out amongst the other applicants.
It is a GREAT idea to use this knowledge as a means to feel less pressured about your score. Just take the test see how you score. Either it is terrible and you will not need to submit it or it is good and you can add it to your application!
Either way, for 2021 applications, the personal statement is going to be extremely important to showcase your talents! Thus far, if you have spent your entire quarantine doing nothing you better think twice because students with competitive applications are helping better their community or learning new skill sets during this downtime. For a list of things you can do to better yourself during quarantine go to www.mystudypage.com/rockquarantine
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