Testing Plans

The world of test optional admissions is somewhat of a moving target. Many schools went test optional during Covid, and plan to stay that way. Many were test optional before. But many are evaluating it on a year to year basis. Georgetown and MIT are requiring test scores for 2023 and Purdue just announced they will require them for 2024. Students should plan to take an SAT or ACT (or both) and then determine whether to use their scores.

What makes this even more complicated is tests keep getting cancelled. Today the SAT was cancelled throughout the south due to Hurrican Ian damage. Last month the ACT was cancelled in California due to wildfires. Schools have had to cancel due to lack of proctors. While much of this is out of students’ control, it’s frustrating if they are trying to get a test in by the October and November Early Action and Early Decision deadlines.

Our advice is plan ahead. Students should register for a test in spring of their junior year, if their high school doesn’t already offer a school day SAT or ACT (Indiana does have a March in school SAT). We’d suggest a March SAT and an April ACT. See how you do then decide which one you felt was a better fit for you. Do some test preparation (buy a book, take a course, do free online or paid online prep). Then take either test again in June. If you are still wanting to raise your score there will be August, September and October tests. But know, the closer to deadlines you test, the more risk involved if tests are cancelled or there is an issue.

Below are the ACT tests dates currently available through July 2023. Visit ACT.org to learn more and register. Also follow ACT on social media for updates and tips.

These are the SAT test dates through June 2023. Vist Collegeboard.org to learn mroe and register. They also provide free test prep through Khan Academy which you can link to through Collegeboard.

Always check with the college where you are applying to know their most recent test policy, if they require you to submit official scores from a testing agency or if they take self-reported scores off your application. Don’t automatically send your scores when you take the test, wait and see if you are happy with the scores and send them at a later date. Understand deadlines and when score reports have to be received by to ensure your application is complete by the deadlines.

As always, if you have any questions Coffman Consulting is happy to help. We are currently accepting clients from the class of 24, 25, and 26, a limited number of seniors applying for January deadlines and students looking to transfer colleges this spring or next fall.

Published by Kate Coffman

Kate has worked in admissions, financial aid, college and career readiness for over twenty years. She most recently served as the Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Franklin College. Kate has also worked in admissions at Butler University and Indiana University. Kate has presented at numerous schools and conferences helping families, educators and those who work with youth understand how to be college and career ready, how to apply to college and how to afford their education.

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