Will other universities follow TUFTS’s example to go test optional?
The cancellation of standardized tests across the globe has brought on a hotly debated issue about more universities becoming Test Optional. The first university amidst this situation to go test optional is Tufts as it announced that for ‘Fall 2021 it will go test optional”.
But what does going test optional mean?
It means that the SAT or ACT scores are not mandatory to be submitted as part of their application process. That in effect means that the academic record, GPA, from grade 9th onwards, the personal essay, extracurricular activities, recommendation letters, and the personal interview(for universities that offer one) will be even more scrutinized. Thus, students should determine whether these components can distinguish them among thousands of applicants.Also, many test optional colleges look at test scores when awarding merit scholarships.
What is actually the truth?
On the other hand , there are voices saying that some universities, becoming test optional expect the increased number of applicants and rejecting more, will make them seem more selective(acceptance rate). For example, Cal Tech advises that students not apply if they do not fit their profile which includes a very high GPA and SAT scores ,thus only eligible students apply, a fact that does not apply to many other universities. Students who opt to send high scores make the average admitted student’s profile more competitive. Test optional schools may not require standardized tests, but the truth is that high scores will be an asset to a student’s college application.
In a nutshell, students who earn high SAT/ACT scores could help boost the students’ chances of getting accepted by ‘test optional’ universities. However,if students do not submit these scores all other parts of the application will be thoroughly examined. This means that students must impress the admission committees with their academic performance, extra curricular, achievements and leadership skills.