Understanding Test Optional and Test Blind for Admission Cycles

Understanding Test Optional and Test Blind for Admission Cycles

To Test or Not to Test in 2023-24?

What Does it Mean to be Test-Optional (2023-24)?

Many Universities in the US are remaining Test-Optional for the upcoming application season (2023-24). Recently, Columbia University was the first Ivy League to no longer require SAT/ACT testing as of 2023-24 and will be test-optional permanently. Many Universities & Colleges across the US are continuing with their test-optional policy in 2023-24, with only a handful confirming that they will resume testing policies for 2023-24.

Would you benefit from submitting a score to a test-optional university?

It depends; you should submit your score if it falls in the top 25th percentile of admitted students to that college in the previous year. On the other hand, if you have a lower score you should work hard to enhance your profile with good quality extra-curricular activities, recommendation letters, college application essays, and your school GPA. The universities focus on a holistic review while selecting a diverse group of an incoming undergraduate class. The students will not be disadvantaged if they do not submit their test scores(yippee).

Here is a list of some Top research universities that are test optional for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle:

Understanding Test Optional and Test Blind for Admission Cycles

Here is a list of some Top Liberal Arts Colleges that are test-optional for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle:

Some Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities Mandate SAT/ACT Testing

There are some top universities and liberal arts colleges that require you to submit your SAT/ACT scores. Some of the schools that still require testing include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown University (DC),  Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Florida, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, New College of Florida, Fisk University (TN), and New College of Florida.

With insights provided by education writer Jeff Selingo and information from various colleges and universities, we have created the following table to give you an overview about submitting test scores.

On the face of the above information, it would appear that including a test score greatly increases your chances of acceptance. However, Common App data reported a 20% surge in applications which suggests that they are receiving applications from students that might have been put off applying when a test score was a requirement.

Were you aware that some universities have adopted a “test-blind” approach?

Test-blind means that a college or university will not consider your SAT/ACT score as part of their evaluation process even if you submit them. The University of California, for example, would only use your scores for course placements after you enroll.

Here is a list from FairTest of some universities and colleges that are test-blind:

  • California Institute of Technology

  • California State University system (permanently at all 23 campuses)

  • Cornell University (through fall 2024 at schools of Agriculture., Architecture, and Business)

  • City University of New York system (11 campuses, extended through Spring 2023 admissions)

  • University of California system (9 campuses)

  • Washington State University (4 campuses)

  • University of San Diego

Is your high school profile competent enough or do you need to submit your score to the test-optional universities? If you need further guidance contact the Ivy Central team.

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