157: Test-Optional Policies and Practices


I'm Pam Andrews. Your host, and in this episode, I'm talking about test optional admissions. Now, this is a part of our series where I'm talking about sat and act test. In the midst of this global pandemic and I really want students to understand what test optional admissions is and what it's not because although many schools are going test optional because students may not be able to take the test I do want students to understand what it means and really how they should position themselves in the college admissions process. So I'm going to talk with you about what test optional means which. Should your student take and really. What the policies are in how schools really apply a test optional policy Just some general guidelines. So, what does test optional means? Well, it simply means that you do not have to submit a test score when you apply and that's really encouraging because right now you know students may or may not be able to take a test and so because of that over one hundred schools so far have decided to go test optional for students who are lying this upcoming school year. So students who will be attending school the fall of Twenty Twenty One you know many schools have decided to go test optional, which is really Nice. Now, what that does mean is that the rest of your application needs to be very strong. Your grades need to be strong. Your essays need be super strong and your recommendation. So some of those other core pieces really needs to be in place so that you can show your credentials and other ways other than the test score. Now, what test optional does not mean, it doesn't mean that the test is not used in the admissions process. So a Lotta Times students will think. You know they're not going to consider or use it at all. No. That's called test blind and a test blind policy is different from test optional with test optional. If a student submits a score, then the school will consider it when making their emissions decision. If the school is test blind again, there approximately about two hundred test blind schools. It's the school is test blind. Then they don't consider the test at all. You can submit the test, it doesn't matter. They won't consider it at all. But what we're talking about, we're talking about test optional admissions and really schools who were not traditionally test optional schools who are now forced into this condition. This admissions process because of covid nineteen. Now why do college is choose test optional practices. So Pre Cova, D-. Why would a school even consider this? So let me just share three reasons why schools have decided to do this. Normally not because of of course, because of corona virus, but normally. So number one, it allows them to increase their admissions applications when students can apply without having to submit a test score. They find that schools find that they have more applicants. You know more applicants to choose from, and it really does what leads me to number two, it allows them to. Inflate their scores in terms of the numbers of students applying. So now you have more students applying for the same amount of seats, which means you're going to have more rejections or more wait lists, and that kind of gives you that appearance at that school's a little bit more selective because they've had to reject a whole lot more students than they were able to admit. So that's another reason why they do it because they want to Really. Changed their numbers and so by opening up and admitting more students with a you know giving them the option not to submit submit their test scores. It's a way to somewhat inflate the scores in terms of your inflate the data in terms of your at the school's admissions data. And then the third reason why schools tend to t- to go test optional is because of their trying to recruit more students whether that is recruiting student athletes, and so they'll give them the option

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