Please review the following information to better understand the role of standardized testing in college admissions, the types of tests, a recommended timeline for testing, and how to prepare. We suggest you begin by watching this video overview of the SAT and ACT.
Given the widespread impact of COVID, many colleges have temporarily altered their policies on standardized testing to be test-optional or test-blind. Colleges that still review test scores look at either the ACT and SAT. They do not have a preference. The College Board has discontinued the essay portion of the SAT, as well as the SAT Subject Tests. ACT is still offering the writing portion of the exam. For more information about taking the ACT with writing, here is some expert advice.
Many colleges superscore the ACT and superscore the SAT, meaning that they take the best score from different testing dates in each section of the test to make a single set of scores for evaluation. However, it should be noted that students must send the entire score report to a college; you cannot just send individual sections.
While AP tests are not required for admissions, some colleges will use AP test results to determine course placements. Many colleges also offer college credit for certain AP scores. Additionally, many colleges offer college credit for CLEP exams (College Level Entrance Program).
If a college is test-optional, applicants do not need to submit test scores as part of their application. However, we recommend discussing whether it will help you to send your scores. Strong test scores can make your application more competitive.