How the SAT is affecting class of 2021 applications


Kate Lindsay, Production Manager

After years of hard work and preparation, students are watching the tests that were once a staple of their junior year become less important in their college application process. As test dates across the country are being cancelled, more colleges are making test scores optional for the class of 2021 graduates. According to College Life Today, over 200 colleges are providing students the option to forgo test scores without being put at a disadvantage.

After COVID-19 caused most tests in the spring to be cancelled, colleges began announcing their decisions to make applications test-optional. From small colleges to top universities, SAT/ACT testing requirements have become more scarce as the 2021 application season approaches.

“We know there are fewer opportunities to take the SAT or ACT given the cancellations to date,” Harvard University said in a statement provided by The New York Times. “You will not be disadvantaged in any way if you do not submit subject tests.” 

Harvard University is not the only Ivy League college that has given applicants the option to submit their application without test scores. Princeton University, amongst others, has also announced that they will be a test-optional college. 

Applicants who do not submit subject tests will not be disadvantaged in our process,” Princeton University said. “SAT or ACT test scores are only one part of our holistic review.” 

Although test scores have always been required in college applications, educational reform groups have been trying to remove standardized testing for years. 

The easing of test requirements comes as education reform groups have criticized the SAT and ACT, which they contend give wealthier students an advantage because their families can afford expensive prep exams and coaches,” The New York Times said. 

Applications are now focusing more on a holistic view of students rather than their test scores. The University of California has even begun to phase out of testing in the next four years.  

While it is no longer required at most universities and colleges, the ACT and SAT are still providing testing dates in an effort to provide students an opportunity to test.

Portage Central has scheduled an October 14th test date for seniors who want to take the SAT. The test will be optional and not be required by the school. For more information, contact the counseling office and make sure to continue checking your email as details are sent out. 

Whether you are a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior, COVID-19 will leave a lasting impact on how colleges view testing as a part of the application process. For seniors, it is most important to know what your applications require. If testing seems important to you, take advantage of this free testing opportunity. But if testing is not a requirement for your applications or not a personal preference, take this opportunity to give yourself a break. With all that COVID-19 has thrown at us, it is fair for everyone to want to take some me-time.