Should I take the ACT or SAT?! It’s optional! Help!

I have had many frantic parents reaching out confused during this crazy Covid-19 time we are living in.  Should their child take the ACT?  Can their child  take the ACT, or will it just be constantly cancelled and pushed until it’s too late?! And meanwhile will their child have wasted hours of time and thousands of dollars prepping for something that ends up not even happening?!  

It can be a lot to suss through and figure out. 

Most schools have announced that the SAT and ACT are optional this year, but many schools have specified that this applies only to the freshman class of 2021-2022, the kids who are currently seniors in high school.  

This means juniors, you might not be off the hook so easily! 

Historically, the SAT and ACT have served to “level the playing field” by objectively giving colleges information about each student’s academic performance in the areas of Math, English, Reading Comprehension, and arguably Science on the ACT (It’s really more of a reading/data comprehension test than testing science).  It helps colleges, because a 3.7 GPA at an easy-peasy non challenging school means something different than a 3.7 GPA at a demanding, very challenging school.  The idea here is that while GPAs may mean something different at different schools, a SAT or ACT score means the same thing, no matter what school you went to.  

Ironically, the SAT and ACT don’t “level the playing field” in actuality all that much, because it is the families at the best schools or who can afford the best prep that often score the highest.  In the next several years, we may see the SAT and ACT disappear entirely!  

Don’t fret high schoolers! 

Many people predict the test might stay optional at many schools.  And high schoolers, even if it doesn’t stay optional… don’t sweat it!  Getting a good score doesn’t have to mean thousands of dollars and millions of hours.  With some focused work, you can improve your score dramatically.  Feel free to reach out for a free consultation to discuss a plan that might work for you or to take a diagnostic test.  

But while it’s optional….

But while it’s optional… figure out if it’s to your advantage to take it!  For many of you, you will be off the hook!  First step, take a practice test.  How far are you away from a good score? (More on how to determine what a “good score” is later.)  If you feel eons away from a good score, and you have plenty of other activities filling up your schedule besides ACT/SAT prep… consider yourself off the hook!  But what if you’re actually not too far away from a “good score?”  Or maybe in some or all of the test sections, you’ve already hit your target score! Well then… optional it may be, but for you, dear student, you might as well take it! 

Why not say to the school… hey, I know you said this thing was optional… but like, here, I took it anyhow for fun, and looksie at my score! 

Reach out for a diagnostic test or a free consultation. 🙂

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