By Ria Patel
The University of Chicago recently announced that their admissions process will now be test-optional.
But what if someone told me that I did not have to send my test scores to colleges? What if I did not have to take those tests at all? Well, this seemingly fantasy situation might just have become a reality. Now the question is, can I use this new policy to my advantage?
Although I fear that not taking the SAT or ACT will decrease my chances of getting into a test-optional college, statistics say otherwise. For example, one-third of Bowdoin College does not submit test scores, and true to Bowdoin’s public statement, students who did not submit test scores make up one-third of the incoming freshman class.
I am honestly conflicted. On one hand, I would love to opt out of the stressful testing process and forget about the entire thing! But on the other hand, I am scared of what colleges may or may not think if I do not send my scores. I am scared that they will think less of me as a student. As an academic. Even as a person.
There really is no way to know. There is no way to know what my future holds or what schools will think of me. I think that these test-optional policies from colleges are giving students opportunities to play to their strengths. An opportunity for me to submit the ACT if I do well on it. The opportunity not to submit the scores if I do not want to. I even have the opportunity not to take the tests at all in the first place!
Ms. Thompson, one half of the St. Mary’s college counseling team, explains, “A student's transcript is the most important piece of information in the admissions process, regardless of where a student is applying. The addition of test scores as part of the academic profile helps determine a student's potential achievement in college, but alone does not paint a clear picture.”
Wherever I go and however I do on my standardized tests, I know in my heart that four years of hard work will mean more to any college than three hours on a Saturday morning.
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