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What is the Future of the ACT and SAT?

Questions abound about the future of the SAT and ACT in the process of college admissions: 

  1. Will testing sites be open in the fall for seniors to take the tests? 

  2. Since so many schools, like the entire University of California system and all Ivy League schools, “temporarily” adjusted requirements to make the SAT and ACT “optional” for the next admission cycle, will this change be permanent? 

  3. If test scores are tied to financial aid and scholarship, how will aid and scholarships be determined in absence of the tests? 

Truthfully, there are more questions than answers. Uncertainty is the current state of affairs. 

Nevertheless, there may be some certainty about the future of testing.

First and foremost, the College Board (maker of the SAT among other things) and ACT, Inc (maker of the ACT among other things) are sure to fight for their lives. These are multi-million dollar companies whose financial future is tied to the relevance of these tests. Both companies will surely lobby, work and make a major effort to keep their business models in tact as long as they can. 

Secondly, with respect to aid and scholarships, there may be a place for these tests after all. Considering the vast discrepancy in GPAs across schools in the United States, testing may be the only standardized approach to differentiate students. 

Admission teams at universities have the resources to shift away from weighing test results heavily and instead approach admission decisiones more holistically (weighing other elements like GPA, course load, essays, recommendations, etc. more). But can the same be said for financial aid offices and scholarship programs? Since aid and scholarship are so closely tied to tests, like the PSAT, chances are these tests may stick around for a while until another standardized, scholarship-identifying model is established. 

So in the near term, the changes may not be much. As long as schools are test-optional (and not test-blind) then test scores will continue to matter. 

In the long term, however, major changes may be likely. 

If you are focused on the near term and want to book a solid test score, either for admission reasons or scholarship ones, contact CROSSWALK today. Since 2003, CROSSWALK has been the Monterey Peninsula’s local resource for test prep and academic tutoring. 

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