If you haven't heard the news, ACT CEO Janet Godwin recently wrote in the company's blog that the test optional movement is here to stay. Further, she offers that the growth of test blind is "unlikely." Read her post right here.
The reactions to this announcement are mixed.
On one hand, the good news is that more schools will allow students to have the option to submit test scores. This means that the stress around the SAT and ACT will be reduced since students will have the choice to take and/or submit test scores. Followers of CROSSWALK know that we have long been proponents of the stress-free approach to testing.
On the other hand, the bad news is that the test optional movement seems to benefit colleges and universities more than the students. Due to the pandemic, most if not all schools went test optional for the past admissions cycle. As a result, the more competitive schools saw increases in the number of students applying. This increase in applicants benefits these schools in three significant ways: 1) schools get to choose from a wider selection of applicants, 2) more applications means more revenue from application fees, and 3) increased applications mean a lower admission rate which helps the school's rankings in the U.S. News and World Report.
So what is the end result of test optional remaining as an ongoing policy? Probably no different than the past. Early indications are that more admission offers, and potentially more financial award offers, are going to those who submit test scores.
The data point to track will be the difference between admission offers or financial aid awards for test takers versus non-test takers. But that data point (realistically) may be too soon to tell and (cynically) potentially buried or massaged by the colleges keen on keeping application submissions up.
As long as the SAT and ACT remain a path towards more admission and financial aid, CROSSWALK is committed to providing stress-free approaches to test preparation.
Our upcoming Spring Test Prep Series starts March 16th and financial aid is available. Sign up and get more information here.