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Should My Child Take The ACT or SAT Even Though Some Universities Are Not Requiring It?

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Higher education establishments are beginning to move away from requiring ACT/SAT scores for admission. This move has been long discussed and standardized test scores are not as important as they once were.

The COVID-19 pandemic was challenging for all, but there was an extra layer of challenge for high school students that saw their education go virtual.

Up until that point, many of the high school students never experienced a virtual class. This inexperience and in some cases, lack of self-discipline, led to missed instruction and brought upon gaps in learning.

Since students typically take their standardized test in high school, many thought it would be unfair to use ACT/SAT scores for college admission due to so many students not receiving their education in a traditional manner. 

This decision has led to many parents asking the question: Should my child take the ACT or SAT?

ACT or SAT Scores as a College Readiness Indicator

Even though many universities have come out to say that ACT/SAT scores are optional for students. It may still be a good idea for students to attempt the exam. By taking the exam, students will be able to find out how prepared they are for higher education. For example, ACT has indicated that students that reach the below benchmarks are predicted to have a higher level of college success:
  • English:18
  • Math:22
  • Reading:22
  • Science: 23

Students that choose not to participate in the exam will not be able to use their ACT or SAT score as an indicator for their college readiness. Parents can use the results to find out where their child’s academic skills might be lacking compared to their peers. Using their child’s data can assist them in getting their child the right help they need and target specific academic areas.

ACT or SAT Scores May Be Required Again

Since the main reasoning behind the decision to exclude standardized scores from the college admission decision is based on the COVID-19 Pandemic, it may be a matter of time before colleges revert to their old process.

Furthermore, not all universities have decided to drop consideration of standardized scores. If a student is unsure about what college they would like to attend and apply to multiple, it is better to have the ACT or SAT score to submit.

ACT or SAT Tests Provide Good Experience

ACT and SAT have strict guidelines for how they are administered to students. Taking the assessment would provide positive exposure for students.

Typical high school tests do not have the same rigidness or rules as standardized assessments. Throughout their lives, students may encounter other assessments that require them to test in a testing center for their careers.

The ACT or SAT is usually the first assessment that a student will take that requires them to follow specific directions and guidelines.

Having experienced the ACT or SAT environment may provide them some stress relief as they have already experienced a standardized test.

Strategies To a Success ACT or SAT

Once it is determined if the student will take the ACT or SAT, it will be important for them to learn strategies on how they can increase their scores and perform to the best of their abilities.

Strategies that can help students attain higher SAT/ACT scores are discussed below :

Get a Tutor

There are tutors available that work specifically to increase preparedness for the ACT or SAT exams. They can provide insight into how the test works and promote positive strategies that may increase scores

SWOT analysis (Strengths, weaknesses opportunities, and threats)

Students should assess their skills and shortcomings in terms of certain topics by practicing mock tests. Students can create a study plan that addresses their deficiencies and enhances their strengths. Once areas of growth are determined, students can pick topics to focus their studies on.

Time Management

Find an SAT/ACT practice exam that is official and practice each portion separately. Use a timer for each section like a real test.
If the section’s time is up and you’re ready to move forward, then do so. Work as long as necessary if you’re not ready to move forward to the next step.

Mark “Extra Time” next to each new or revised answer. Use the answer key and score table to grade your test when you’re ready to do so.

Test Anxiety

Test anxiety can cause students to perform less than they are capable of. Students who experience anxiety while testing, may want to practice some coping strategies or work on their executive functioning skills before their test. 

Inquire within for SAT/ACT preparation.

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