Test-Optional Timelines

While it is our view that universities that have gone test-optional due to the pandemic will remain test-optional for many years to come, we thought we’d share with our readers an overall update on how long some of our nation’s highly selective universities have already stipulated they will remain test-optional. … 

Read More

A Test-Optional Study

The Gates Foundation has awarded a $1.4 million grant to a University of Maryland-led study that will examine the impact of America’s colleges going SAT/ACT-optional in admissions as well as their potential elimination down the road. The study’s authors, who say the study will likely take two years as they … 

Read More

Testing Optional

Thinking about not sending in test scores to elite universities this admissions cycle? Think again. As we’ve long suggested on the pages of this college admissions blog, test-optional policies aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. All else being equal, at a school with a test-optional admissions policy, a student … 

Read More

The Test-Optional Beneficiaries

As loyal readers of our college admissions blog know all too well, we believe that test-optional admissions policies don’t mean all that much. All else being equal, a student with great test scores will always have an advantage over a student with no test scores. Never, however, did we suggest … 

Read More

Test-Optional Is Malarkey

When you have a question about highly selective college admissions, it’s best to ask an expert. That means don’t bother going to the deli to ask the butcher. Don’t ask the FedEx deliveryman. And don’t write an advice columnist in your local paper asking if your child should or should … 

Read More

The Fable of Test-Optional

Curious if students who submit test scores to test-optional schools enjoy an advantage over students who don’t submit test scores? In the words of the gatekeepers at many highly selective institutions, students who don’t submit scores to test-optional schools enjoy no such advantage. In fact, when we suggested in a … 

Read More

Admissions Leaders Are Conflicted

As longtime readers of our college admissions blog know well, we believe “test-optional” policies are essentially meaningless. These policies, as we’ve asserted over the years from atop our soapbox in admissions, are designed to ease restrictions on applicants and ultimately to encourage them to apply — even if they don’t … 

Read More

Cornell Admissions Leader Acknowledges Squeakers

Back in December, when folks asked us why our nation’s elite universities received so many more applications this past Early cycle than in years past, we attributed the spike to a few key factors. Such factors included: (1) students had no excuse to procrastinate this year by foregoing applying Early … 

Read More

The Future of Test-Optional Policies

Loyal readers of our college admissions blog know that we believe test-optional policies, which were implemented at the vast majority of highly selective universities this year in response to test cancelations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, aren’t worth the paper they are written on. It is our unwavering position that, … 

Read More

Test-Optional Means Diddly-Squat

In certain states in our union, wearing a mask in crowded stores is optional. Go to the mining town of Deadwood, South Dakota, the resting place of Calamity Jane and Wild Bill, and you’ll find few folks in masks. Heck, few folks there even have masks in their pockets — … 

Read More