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Test Score Submissions are Trending

Submitting an SAT or ACT score to colleges is trending. Not like TikTok trending, but really trending up.

Consider data recently reported by the Common App: the number of students who report test scores has increased the last three years. Less than 500,000 total applicants submitted test scores in 2020-21 (about 40% of all applications) yet this number grew to almost 600,000 in the 2023-24 cycle (up to 45% of all applications).

Data geeks will also point out that the number of applicants not reporting scores has also gone up a similar amount. However, this point may simply indicate that overall, more students are applying to more schools.

What will be interesting to follow is how schools like Duke and USC, with expiring test-optional policies after the current cycle, will address their approach to test score submissions next year. After notable Ivies recently announced a return to requiring test scores, will other highly selective schools follow suit?

Regardless, the advice from most experts remains the same: applicants should take the SAT or ACT to get a score. Even if a student is considering strictly test-optional policies, a score can be a different maker and it is good insurance in case a school changes their policy for 2024-25. In addition, students applying to test-optional schools should review the rate in which applicants submit test scores to see if a test score might be more expected or not.

In other words, as CROSSWALK has championed, take a test, get a score, decide if you want to improve with a course like our summer program, and see how you can put yourself in the best position for college admissions and scholarship opportunities.

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