Why should you still take the SAT/ACT?

Published Friday, January 14, 2022 by Briant Sarris

If you are looking to apply to college soon, you may be debating on whether or not you will take the SAT, especially since most of the universities you want to apply to may be test optional or test blind. So, what are the benefits of taking the SAT or ACT even if your school does not require a test score? 


  1. Many colleges, including those that are test optional or test blind, will use your provided standardized testing scores to award merit scholarships for incoming students. These scholarships can range from $1,000 to a full ride to your dream school, so doing well on the test will benefit you as you prepare to pay college tuition the next few years. 
  2. A large number of universities are still requiring SAT/ACT scores during the application process. Although you may have your heart set on a specific school or going to college in  a specific state, it’s important to keep an open mind when applying. Explore all possibilities, and if possible, apply to schools you think you might be interested in, even if you’re not sure. Some of these schools may require standardized testing scores, and taking the SAT/ACT beforehand will ensure that they will not hinder you in your application process by preventing you from applying to certain schools. 
  3. These past few years have been especially difficult for high schoolers applying to college. Due to COVID, fewer extracurricular opportunities have been available, making it difficult to build your application and resume, to show that you have continued to stay dedicated and committed throughout high school. Although maintaining good grades is important, it is not enough. Taking the SAT/ACT will show colleges that you took the time to commit to strengthening your application, even during difficult times. 


Additionally, as a student who has recently been through the application process for college and universities, I have spoken to numerous college counselors. One in particular, reached out to admissions officers at a variety of schools, asking them if taking the SAT/ACT will be beneficial to students. The response was the same from all schools: it will not hurt them. This is essentially implying that in some way, taking a standardized test will be beneficial to you. After relying on these test scores for so many years, it is especially difficult to differentiate between applications without taking a look at any SAT/ACT scores. For example, if the admissions officers are handed two relatively similar applications, with the only difference being that one of the applicants has provided an SAT score, it is likely that that will be the distinguishing factor between an acceptance or rejection. 


Taking the SAT/ACT comes with many benefits during the college application process, so make sure to register for a test date and start preparing as soon as possible!

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