Zeroing in on Test-Optional

Georgetown is technically test-optional. The key word is technically (photo credit: Patrickneil).

Ivy Coach is cited today on the pages of the University of Pennsylvania’s newspaper addressing so-called test-optional policies. As Leanna Tilitei reports for The Daily Pennsylvanian in a piece entitled “Experts worry that Penn’s test-optional application process will benefit wealthier students,” “‘We don’t believe test-optional policies are worth the paper they’re written on,’ [Brian] Taylor said. ‘If one kid has great test scores and one kid has no test scores, all else being equal, the kid with great test scores will win every time over the kid with no test scores. As long as the school allows the submission of the scores, then they’re not telling it like it is. They’re not really test-optional.’ Taylor urges students to do whatever it takes to submit scores despite the cancellation of several SAT and ACT tests this year. Though he recognizes that most top institutions will have to admit applicants without test scores, he would not recommend that prospective applicants take that chance. ‘If your school is not offering an SAT or an ACT, take it in a neighboring school. Drive three states. Drive to Nebraska,” he said. “Get an N-95 mask, grab a pair of gloves and two number two pencils, and drive and take an SAT or ACT.'”

Even Georgetown Went Test-Optional This Year

Still think test-optional policies have merit, that a student with no scores has the same shot as a student with great scores? If so, allow us to zero in on Georgetown University. Georgetown, a university that traditionally requires not only an SAT or ACT but also three SAT Subject Tests has a test-optional policy this year. But just how optional is this test-optional policy? Let’s take a magnifying glass to their verbiage. As Sarah Weber reports for The Georgetown Voice in a piece entitled “Georgetown instates test-optional policy for 2020-21 application season,” “Georgetown has opted to waive the ACT and SAT requirement for applicants to the class of 2025, citing the ongoing pandemic and the widespread cancellation of college admissions tests as unintentional barriers to prospective Hoyas. While Georgetown still encourages students to submit test scores as part of their application, the admissions process will not penalize students who do not submit SAT or ACT scores. In addition to the flexible approach to standardized testing, Georgetown will allow AP test scores to cover the previously optional, although highly recommended, submission of SAT subject test scores. As with SAT and ACT scores, applicants are asked to submit scores from any SAT subject test scores they took prior to the pandemic, though it is not required.”

Test-Optional Georgetown Still Wants Those Test Scores

Let’s break that down in plain English. Georgetown still wants to see test-scores — they encourage the submission of those scores. SAT Subject Test scores remain highly encouraged as well, though AP scores can technically be submitted in their place this year. Still not clear enough? Let’s translate further for our readers: Georgetown still absolutely wants to see test scores. Georgetown had to go test-optional when so many of their peers, like all of the Ivy League schools, went that route this year. But Georgetown so clearly reluctantly followed the herd. So sure, test scores are technically optional. But, technically, you can also apply to Georgetown with Ds and Fs. Technically you can apply to Georgetown with an extensive criminal history and a 1050 SAT score. It doesn’t mean you’ll get in. Georgetown is test-optional. Now that’s cute!

 
 

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