Test optional? You should still take your ACT and SATs


The Catalyst / Molly Phan

Textbooks and calculators are accessable and helpful materials for SAT and ACT prepartaion.

For juniors and seniors, standardized tests have always been an essential part of college applications, but due to COVID-19, many colleges have gone “test optional” meaning that submitting SAT or ACT scores is completely up to the student. Although many may see this as great news because they will not have to sit through the dreadful three to four hour test, many college counselors and admissions professionals continue to encourage the Class of 2023 to take a standardized test to strengthen their college application. So, how should you prepare for the SAT or ACT in order to perform your best?

Many choose to go to a tutor to guide them personally in what areas of the test they should focus on the most. Although this is considerably one of the most helpful studying strategies, it can definitely be costly and there are many other efficient and effective options.

SAT and ACT preparatory textbooks and workbooks are available many places online for 20 to 30 dollars, which can be a helpful resource for self guided practice. You can read about test-taking strategies and do practice questions to feel better prepared.

Finally, you can find many SAT and ACT practice tests for free online. Printing them and timing yourself while taking the practice tests before checking your answers is useful because it is realistic and will tell you exactly what questions and sections you should study for most.

Whether you plan to submit standardized test scores to colleges or not, you should follow these test-prep steps in order to earn the highest score possible.