Because the pandemic has wreaked havoc on testing schedules and made taking the ACT and SAT more complicated than ever, we’re experiencing a test-optional admissions cycle for the very first time. In June 2020, we wrote a blog urging students to study, practice, and still take those tests regardless. Now, as the class of 2025 takes shape and more data is emerging about this cycle, we’re doubling down: even if every school on your list is test-optional forevermore, we highly encourage you to take one or both of the tests. Why? Because students who submitted test scores had a clear advantage over students who didn’t.
Let’s break down the data. As we’ve already discussed many times, applications for the class of 2025 were submitted in record numbers, for a variety of different reasons. On average, students applied to more schools than before – and the fact that schools were test-optional played a big part in that increase. Because of this increase, it was more important than ever for students to stand out. From looking at the numbers, it appears that having test scores may have helped them do that.
Of the applications submitted for the class of 2025, 51% included test scores. Of the applicants who received acceptance letters, 63% included test scores.
Let’s break it down even more:
- At very selective schools (with acceptance rates anywhere from 10 to 24%) 55% of applications included test scores and 67% of admitted students had test scores. The acceptance rate for students with test scores was 16%, and it was only 9% for students without test scores.
- At selective schools (with acceptance rates anywhere from 25 to 50%) 49% of applications included test scores and 61% of admitted students had test scores. The acceptance rate for students with test scores was 34%, and it was only 21% for students without test scores.
- At less selective schools (with acceptance rates greater than 50%) 36% of applications included test scores and 42% of admitted students had test scores. The acceptance rate for students with test scores was 68%, and it was only 53% for students without test scores.
In other words, it’s abundantly clear that testing still matters, despite so many schools going test-optional. If you want to be competitive in the admissions process, sending in good test scores will help you immensely.
For rising seniors who will be applying to the class of 2026, the Enrichery’s 3-month test prep program will help you earn those standout scores you need. Our students improve an average of 150 to 200 points on the SAT, and 4 to 6 points on the ACT. Submitting scores may give you a leg up, and those extra points can tip your application over the edge. Contact us today to get your starting score with a proctored mock test offered every Sunday (for free!). Then, we’ll work together to create a customized prep plan, complete with one-on-one coaching and take-home work. You’ll take a mock exam every four weeks to monitor your progress, and you’ll finish the program with scores you’ll be proud of.