When the pandemic hit, many colleges became test optional in relation to their application process. There really was no other option given the inability to offer the SAT during lockdowns and quarantines. Then when schools opened again, although students could take the tests, most schools continued to be test optional. There were some schools, however, that started once again to require test scores, such as Georgia State institutions. As we are in the application period for those who will be entering college in the fall of 2023, the question is whether more colleges will start requiring SAT test scores once again.
The short answer is that the vast majority of schools are NOT requiring SAT test scores for the class of 2023 but that can absolutely change for those students entering fall 2024 and later.
SAT and ACT Requirements Are Interchangeable
When we refer to the SAT requirements, we’re also referring to the ACT as well. The test optional requirements relate to both tests. You can submit either, both, or if the school is test optional, neither.
Will Colleges be Test Optional for the Class of 2024?
We won’t really know until the spring of 2023, and possibly even into that early summer, which schools are going to continue being test optional for the class of 2024 and beyond. Some schools, like UMass Amherst, starting in the pandemic said they were going to remain test optional for the next three application cycles as they want to see if there’s any difference in the results of the students who submitted test optional versus those that submitted their test scores and then make a decision for moving forward based on that. Other colleges, such as MIT, have said they were no longer going to be test optional, and Binghamton has said this is the last year they are not requiring test scores.
Test optional has been a gift in many ways. Some students are just not great test takers, but are still very viable students for the colleges they want to apply to. By not requiring test scores, these students have been able to apply to these colleges and many times get accepted where their test scores may have prevented them from getting in otherwise. Additionally, because of removing the SAT/ACT requirements, schools have received a much greater array of student applicants with varying backgrounds, which is quite positive.
It may very well be that as time goes on, SAT and ACT scores may become required, particularly because U.S. News still requires test scores as part of their rankings, i.e. 40% of your students that apply have to be submitting test scores in order for the school to maintain the rankings and get ranked accordingly.
But for now, the short answer is that most colleges are not requiring SAT or ACT test scores for the class of 2023. We will have to wait to see what happens for the class of 2024 and beyond.