September 29th, 2020

Test-Optional Is Not Test-Blind


2020 has been a rough year for many, and if you are a high school junior, you have yet another challenge to face: deciding whether to take the SAT or ACT when so many colleges have adopted a test-optional admissions policy. So what’s the difference between test-optional and test-blind? And what does it mean for you?

In a nutshell, test-blind means a school won’t accept standardized test scores. At all. If you send them, they won’t look at them.

Test-optional means that standardized test scores are not required for an application, but they are welcomed and valued in the competitive process of college admissions.

So should a college-bound junior sign up for the SAT or ACT or not? In a word: YES.


5 reasons to try an SAT or ACT in 2020-2021

  1. Test-optional colleges will look at SAT and ACtT scores. All other things being equal in an application, a higher test score might earn the acceptance letter. Furthermore, test score submission rates at prominent test-optional schools indicate that the majority of applicants still submit their scores.


  1. If you are planning on applying to more affordable state schools, guess what? A lot of families are making the same financially prudent choice during these uncertain times. Having a solid SAT or ACT score can help a student distinguish themselves in the crowded admission process.


  1. Many schools require standardized test scores for out-of-state students and athletes. In addition, merit aid, scholarship applications, and honors programs may still require a standardized test score.


  1. Extracurricular activities and the grading system took a big hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After-school activities, sports, summer internships, and volunteer opportunities were canceled. Many schools adopted a pass/fail grading system, and a “pass” just isn’t as impressive as an “A.” It isn’t fair. (In fact, it stinks.) But students in the Class of 2022 need every available opportunity to distinguish themselves in the admission process, and the SAT and ACT offer that opportunity.


  1. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Take the test. If the score is great, send it. If it isn’t, apply test-optional! A 2020 win/win scenario…for once.

Test Preps remains devoted to our small-group, socially distanced SAT/ACT preparation programs. Our sessions begin 5-6 weeks before the test and our tutors would love to help you get a leg up on the college competition.

So get ready. Get set. Prepare for possibilities! Contact Test Preps to talk about a plan that fits your remote or hybrid school schedule and join us on Sunday evenings for a small group SAT or ACT Course. Private tutoring options also available.


One Response to “Test-Optional Is Not Test-Blind”

  1. Sophia Says:

    Thanks for the information.

Leave a Reply

©2023 Test Preps, Inc. All Rights Reserved. SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this product. ACT® is the registered trademark of ACT, Inc. Test Preps has no affiliation with ACT, Inc., which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this product. Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with Test Preps or this website.