Posts Tagged ‘test-optional colleges’

Test Optional: Why the SAT and ACT are a Bonus for College Admissions

January 21, 2023

Students who submit good test scores for college admission have a slight advantage over those who do not. Test scores help to support a student’s academic record and are a factor that will be considered at any test-optional school. If not used for admission, test scores are sometimes required for merit scholarships. For this reason, I recommend students take both the SAT and ACT to determine which test is best for them. Then, they should retake that test again. Students can practice on their own, but many don’t. That is why a test-prep class is often more successful.

College Direction will begin a 6-week virtual test prep course for the SAT and ACT tests on Wednesday, February 1st. The classes will meet for six consecutive weeks. The cost is $550. Students will study content, test-taking strategies, and pacing and timing for both tests. They will also practice on real SAT and ACT tests. This class will prepare students for the Colorado public school SAT on April 12th and the national ACT test on April 15th. Most of my students prefer the ACT and do better on it than the SAT. Susie Watts is a college consultant with many years of experience preparing students for the SAT and ACT. The course is limited in size so early registration is encouraged. If interested, please email your student’s name, school, cell number and parent’s cell. Payments can be made to Venmo at Sarah-Watts-15.


Does Test-Optional Really Mean Test-Optional at Colleges?What are the Pro and Cons of Submitting Scores?

January 3, 2023

Test-optional policies at colleges and universities mean that applicants are not required to submit scores from standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT as part of their application. Here are some potential pros and cons of applying to a test-optional college:


  • It allows you to focus on other aspects of your application, such as your transcripts, essays, and extracurricular activities, which may better reflect your academic and personal achievements.
  • It may be especially beneficial for students who have faced challenges such as economic hardship, disability, or illness, which may have affected their test performance.
  • It can also be a good option for students who are strong academically but do not perform well on standardized tests due to test anxiety or other factors.


  • If you have strong test scores, they can often be a significant factor in your favor when applying to competitive colleges, so not submitting them may put you at a disadvantage.
  • Without test scores, it may be harder for the college to accurately assess your academic abilities and determine whether you are a good fit for their institution.
  • Some colleges and universities may still require test scores for certain programs or majors, even if they have a test-optional policy for general admissions.

Ultimately, whether or not to apply to a test-optional college is a personal decision that should be based on your individual circumstances and goals. It is always a good idea to research the specific policies and requirements of the colleges you are considering and consult with your guidance counselor or other trusted advisors before making a decision.

SAT and ACT Tests: To Take or Not to Take Again.

August 13, 2013

Jake took the SAT and ACT once his junior year of high school.  His scores were a little above average but he wanted to do better.  He took my test prep course and improved his scores on both tests.  He and I went over his results and looked at the areas that still had room for improvement.   As with some other students I have had, the third try on the two tests paid off.  He was finally satisfied and felt that his scores were competitive for most of the schools in which he had an interest. 

Unlike The College Board, which does not cap the number of times a student can take the SAT, students may not take the ACT more than 12 times. While I do not recommend taking either the SAT or ACT more than three times, it is important to remember that the highest scores a student can get will often provide more opportunities for college admission and scholarships.

Jake was accepted at seven of the nine schools to which he applied.  His test scores turned out to be on the higher end of most of the college applicants at the schools to which he was accepted.  In addition, he received scholarship money from each of the schools that accepted him.  Not bad and certainly worth the effort.

While a student’s GPA and coursework continue to be the biggest factors for college admission, SAT and ACT scores are not far behind, even at schools that often claim to be test-optional.