First they canceled classes… And now they cancel standardized tests? You might be thinking this is your lucky day.
Well, not so fast. Yes, many colleges have decided that students aren’t required to take the ACT or SAT in order to gain entrance in Fall of 2021. Understanding the difficulties that students would face with testing at this time, at least 17 universities have so far decided that they will waive this requirement of admission. In fact, some schools (such as the University of Oregon and Oregon State University) even decided to make it a permanent policy.
That seems like it would give this year’s juniors a bit of a break. And it’s true that you probably wouldn’t want to go sit in a crowded exam room right now, anyway. Unfortunately, we don’t recommend that you forgo standardized test preparation entirely.
First, we can’t guarantee that all universities will adopt this policy. Even if you currently expect to attend one of the universities who have waived the test requirement, you might change your mind later. Another school could become your “dream school”, and they might not be so lenient.
Second, just because the test isn’t required, does not mean that there are zero reasons for taking it. More competitive schools might still utilize test scores as part of their admissions policies. A great score could help you gain a competitive edge when admission is limited (especially for considerations such as Early Decision).
And finally, if you plan to apply for scholarships, ACT or SAT scores might still matter in many circumstances. When potentially thousands of dollars are at stake, you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities.
So yes, you’ve gotten a bit lucky in the sense that you probably won’t be taking an exam in the next month or two. But no, you shouldn’t abandon your plans to take the SAT or ACT in the future. For now, view this situation as a lucky break that earns you a bit more time to adequately – and competitively – prepare for your test.