Now that many colleges are going test-optional, parents and teens wonder if they should be concerned about taking the SAT or ACT. Especially if their teen has good grades but performs poorly on standardized tests. Is it worth the risk? Is it worth the extra time and effort to study? 

The answer is yes if they plan on going to college. 

If colleges were not going to consider SAT or ACT scores in the application process, then they would say, “We no longer accept test scores in the admissions process.” By saying it’s optional, they are saying we will consider it in the process if you provide it. This could give your teen a leg up in the admissions process. If they compare your teen with another candidate who didn’t include scores, your teen will stand out. The fact that your teen took the time to study and take the test shows they are serious about going to college. 

Now there is the concept of “test blind” schools. If a college says they are test blind, they are not interested in students’ standardized test scores. They will not look at it, even if your scores are excellent. There are very few colleges that are test blind and most are in California.

Another reason to take the SAT/ACT is that sometimes scholarships require test scores even though the schools are test-optional. One of my clients asked me if her daughter should take the SAT since the school is test-optional. It turns out the school is test-optional, but the scholarships she can apply for are not. 

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