Colleges and universities go test optional and test blind for admissions

Matthew Boccella, Staff writer

Many colleges across America have switched to standardized test optional, meaning the applicant can choose whether or not to submit SAT or ACT scores for consideration for admission, or standardized test blind, meaning the school will not consider an applicant”s SAT or ACT scores, even if the student wants the school to consider those scores.

Area colleges such as Temple University, West Chester University and Drexel University went standardized test optional for all applications sent in this fall. 

On its website, Temple said,  “We know standardized test scores aren’t always a reflection of your accomplishments. The Temple Option is part of our commitment to providing more opportunities for all dedicated, motivated students to access a high-quality undergraduate experience—no matter how you learn or how your achievements are represented.”

Drexel connected its decision to be test optional to the new coronavirus.

Drexel said on its website, “Given the significant challenges applicants for fall 2021 are currently facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Drexel is adopting a Test-Optional policy for 2021 fall start applicants. This policy will allow students to decide whether they would like to submit standardized test scores to be included as part of their application. First-year applicants applying for entry in fall 2021 will indicate on their admissions application if they will be supplying test scores for consideration. Test-Optional applicants will still be considered for institutional merit-based scholarships.”

Not all of these universities are switching permanently to test optional admissions applications. Most of them accepted test optional applications strictly for the current fall semester.

Certain prestigious colleges, such as Yale and Loyola, chose to go test blind. 

“Test-blind policies are far more rare than test optional,” Private Prep said in a July article. “Notable schools with test-blind policies include Hampshire College (which was test blind prior to COVID-19), Caltech (which plans to implement a two-year pilot program), Catholic University, and Loyola University New Orleans. Yale University is also Subject Test blind for the 2020-21 admissions cycle.”

Archbishop Carroll senior Jason McNally agreed with the policy changes many colleges and universities made regarding standardized test scores and admissions.

McNally said, “I think it is a good idea because many kids are stressed as it is with corona and I feel like making them take the SAT would just add onto the stress, so making it optional was honestly a great idea.”