There are some colleges that don’t require scores—schools that are test-optional or even completely test-blind. Test-optional policies became much more popular as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, when many students couldn’t take the SAT or ACT. Most schools became test optional only temporarily, but some decided to make it a permanent change.
That being said, standardized test scores are still an important part of the application process, and most colleges want to see your scores from the SAT or ACT. Even if a school is test optional, having a strong test score will boost your application and help you stand out from the crowd. If you decide not to take the SAT, it can limit the colleges you’re able to apply to and cause you to lose out on a chance to make your application even more impressive.
It’s very common for colleges to award merit-based financial aid to top applicants. Test scores are often one of the most important factors in determining which students get scholarships and which don’t. Even if the schools you’re applying to are test optional, they may still require SAT or ACT scores for financial aid. Because financial aid packages are often worth tens of thousands of dollars, it’d be well worth your time to take the SAT to be eligible for these awards, even if the exam is not technically required to apply to the school.
This may seem odd, and it’s certainly a newer trend. Still, some potential bosses want to see your standardized test scores before they hire you.
This doesn’t just apply to test prep jobs, either; this requirement pops up in consulting and finance-related jobs, too. And, according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s getting more common.
It may not be standard practice, but you don’t want to pass on the perfect job because an employer wants SAT scores and you don’t have them.
Taking the SAT (or ACT) seems to be the decision most college-bound students make. There is, in fact, very good reason for this pattern; as discussed above, these tests can help you find your way into college, get a scholarship to pay for college, and even land a job down the road.
There are also some distinct reasons that the SAT may serve many students better than the ACT.
Whether you’re wondering whether to take any standardized test or second-guessing your decision to sign up for the SAT in the first place, you can use this article to review and consider the merits of the test.