Being a high school student means getting burdened by the constant stress about the choice of college and many more things. However, one thing that students fail to realize before they start dreaming about their college life, is that they also have to take the ACT and SAT exams! Nevertheless, one thing that you, as high school students, must bear in mind is that these exams are not a hard nut to crack. Therefore, once this realization dawns on you, the phobia surrounding these two exams ceases to exist. However, the question at hand is whether the class of 2023 and 2024 require to take the ACT and SAT exams or not. So, now, without further ado, let us have a look at the answer!
Class of 2023: Are SAT and ACT Scores Necessary?
Since the spread of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 was deadly and cost thousands of lives, it was obvious that taking these exams did not become mandatory. People needed to stay at home. However, life cannot be contained within the four walls of a house. And now, since the situation is beginning to look much better than before, although the pandemic is still lurking around the corners, the question at hand is a valid question that goes through the minds of students: whether taking the SAT or ACT exams is necessary or not.
The answer, unfortunately, is not a clear but an ambiguous one. It all depends on the college that you are applying for! For instance, if you have applied to – college and one of their requirements are to consider your SAT and/or ACT scores, then you need to prepare yourself. However, if a college claims that your SAT and ACT scores are not considered, then you might consider taking the risk of skipping these. As of the present, 1540 well-renowned colleges in the United States claim to not consider your SAT or ACT scores! However, this doesn’t mean that all colleges have the same policy.
Some Important Facts That the Class of 2023 and 2024 Should Know
Below are some solid facts provided by fairtest.org that you should bear in mind while applying for a university!
- Test-Optional to the Class of 2023: There are 84 universities that are test-optional to the class of 2023 but they claim not to be so for the class of 2024. One such example is Penn State University.
- Test-Optional Only to the 2020-2021 Batch: There are over 370 colleges that were only test-optional for the batch of 2020 and 2021 because of the havoc caused by the pandemic. It is strongly believed that these universities will not be test-optional for the batch of 2023 or the ones after it.
- Not Yet Decided: There are around 17 colleges that were test-optional for the batch of 2020 and 2021 but have not yet decided whether this is the way they want to continue for the 2023 batch and the batches following that.
- No Test for the 2020-2021 Batch: According to the statistics, there are over 44 universities that held a no test or a test-free policy for the batch of 2020 and 2021. However, these universities claim to not have the same policy for the batch of 2023 and 2024, i.e, they will not have a no-test policy for these batches. Such universities include California State University, City University, and many more of the like!
Should the Batch of 2023 Prepare for SAT and ACT?
After analyzing the above-mentioned information and facts, it is apparent what should be done now. If you are an excellent student with a brilliant application and the colleges that you have applied for have a lenient policy regarding the SAT and ACT scores, then you can skip taking the tests. However, if this is not the case with you, as is with most students out there, you will be required to take the tests.
Nevertheless, it is recommended that you do take your SAT and ACT, regardless of the situation you are in, to be on the safer side! This is because even if you come across a good university’s application at the last moment, you would not have to worry if the university considers your SAT and ACT scores.
Tips for the Preparation of the SAT and/or ACT Tests?
Now that we have looked at why you should take these tests, this is accompanied by a vital question about how to prepare for these tests. Let us move ahead and look at the tips that would be beneficial for your preparation!
- SAT or ACT: The first thing to do is to decide which of the two tests you are willing to take, although you will have to take both. You can go for taking both the tests; however, you must know that the structure of the two tests is not similar. While for SAT, you have to focus on Reading, Math, and Writing and Language, for the ACT, you have to focus on English, Math, Science Reasoning, Reading, and Essay writing. Moreover, the two tests are scored on a scale of 400 to 1600 and 1 to 36, respectively.
- Setting the Date of the Exams: It is recommended that you set the dates of the exams almost 4 to 6 months after you begin with your preparation so that you have ample time to brush up on your concepts. Moreover, set the date for both the tests at least one month apart from each other.
- Setting Target Score: While choosing the colleges of your preference, you must look at the required scores on the SAT and ACTs that you must have. For instance, most reputed universities want the students to have a score in between the range of 1500-1550 and 32-34, respectively.
- Preparation: This is the step where you have to help yourself. Sure, you can read about tips, but at the end of the day, you have to prepare. You can make use of coaching or some test prep books.
By now, you must know the answer to your initial query. Since the covid situation is improving, there is no doubt that the SATs and ACTs will be conducted and that many colleges will consider these scores. Even if you don’t plan on taking the tests, it is recommended that you do prepare. To be on the safer side, it is better to take the tests and be over with them! Moreover, you have to plan for the two tests accordingly since they do not focus on the same subjects.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Should I take the SATs and ACTs even if I have an excellent GPA?
Yes, you should because some colleges consider these scores.
- What score should I aim for in the ACTs?
You should aim for the range of 32-34.