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Test-Optional College Admission, Explained

Many colleges have made standardized test scores an optional part of their application process instead of a requirement. The move to test-optional admissions is not only in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but also part of a larger effort to make the admission process more accessible. So, should you still take the ACT/SAT? Here are some things to consider. 

Students walking outside of SLU's Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building

What does "test-optional" mean?

Test-optional admission means that you can choose whether or not to submit ACT/SAT scores as part of your application for admission. Colleges are not taking a uniform approach to going test-optional. Some offer test-optional applications for admission but require scores for scholarship consideration.

At Saint Louis University, ACT/SAT scores are optional. You may submit test scores as part of your application, but students who don’t will not be disadvantaged in any way.

Taking the ACT/SAT Keeps Your College Options Open 

If you haven’t narrowed down your list of colleges, taking the ACT/SAT will give you the most options. 

Timeline tip: Many high school students take the PSAT in the fall of junior year and the ACT or SAT during spring of their junior year. 

may require test scores for scholarship consideration or for certain academic programs. Research specific ACT/SAT requirements for schools you are considering. is a resource for general info and updates on standardized testing.

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