About test-optional…

By Herbie Walker – December 10th, 2020

Due to the pandemic causing disruptions in education in all levels since this past spring, one of the toughest issues we face in college admissions is how do we advise students when it comes to test-optional applications.

For those who may not be aware, test-optional applications is not a new practice. Many colleges that understand how standardized testing is not an absolute bar to determine college readiness have been considering applicants for years, whom may not performed as well as they hoped. There are many resons for this included but not limited to adequate access to test preparation programs, inconsistent academic rigor in k-12 and now (due to COVID-19) in-person testing.

That last item is what is driving the new movement for most colleges to implement some type of test-optional or test-flexible policy. Students around the world no longer have a convenient location to take the ACT or SAT exam, leaving those few families that are fortunate enough to travel with an additional metric to measure against in their college applications.


Historically, test scores gave an applicant an edge, but time will tell how colleges will assess a students viability at their institutions. In the meantime, we are all left wondering how should a student apply if they do not have test scores; and if they do, should they still submit them. Collegewise has put together a great resource sheet to help you decide. It is in my opinion that if a student has taken the SAT/ACT and scored well within their desired colleges admit range, then they should submit their scores. And if you are a student that did not take a standardized test in time to apply to college; don’t let that discourage you. Schools are still accepting students with a strong history of academic success so don’t take yourself out of consideration because you were not able to take a test.

About us: At Walker College Consultants, our goal is to help families navigate the college landscape. What is required of each student to compile a competative application differs by state, major, and whether a college is a public or private institution. With 1 on 1 attention to your student we help them reach their full potential and avoid pitfalls that could cripple an otherwise stellar applicaiton.