Test optional schools are for real! However, they come with a caveat!
Remember the saying,”if it’s too good to be true, it usually is?” Well, that is the case with these schools. If you dive into the issue a little below the surface, what you will find is that these colleges actually have some of the highest SAT and ACT scores published! Sounds odd, huh? Well, a lot of the college ranking systems use these scores to decide on placement on their lists and all schools want and need good positioning on these lists to gain attention and notoriety, which in turn leads to more applications being submitted by students. And guess what? The lists and rankings also love schools with tons of applicants! So it helps these schools in two ways: more applicants and higher scores!
Schools that claim to be “score optional” actually adore applications that include high scores because they can use those super high scores as their “average” SAT and ACT numbers. Then, all of the students that don’t submit scores with their applications are put in a separate “pool” and the competition is much stiffer. So the best way to avoid all of this “gaming” of the system is to just do the work necessary to obtain really high scores and none of it will matter!
Published on: May 4, 2016
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