The SATs and ACTs might be less important than you think

The number of colleges and universities that have decided to be Test Optional continues to grow, with 35 more schools joining the ranks in the last 10 months. There are now well over 1,000 colleges that don’t require some or all of their applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. There are several reasons for this trend, including an emphasis on a holistic applicant review, a desire to attract a more applicants, an effort to make college accessible to more students, and a recognition that these scores have limited predictive value when trying to determine an applicant’s academic success.

So, if colleges are becoming increasingly less interested reviewing SAT and ACT scores, maybe students should follow suit and spend less time on test prep. Instead, taking on leadership roles, getting a job, becoming involved in community service in ways that are personally fulfilling, reading more, and participating in clubs and events are some of the things that students can do to make themselves more well-rounded, engaged people and, as a result, more compelling applicants.

Students who put undue pressure on themselves and focus a disproportionate amount of their time on test prep may be forgoing opportunities to pursue their interests and find personal fulfillment. And mightn’t that be time better spent than focusing on raising test scores a few points?

For the most current list of Test Optional Colleges, click here — and be sure to check back frequently as this list will continue to grow.