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COVID-19 pandemic: Are colleges becoming test-optional or not?

Updated: May 14, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has made life difficult for people all over the world and prospective applicants are no stranger to it either. Lockdowns all over the world have made it difficult for many applicants who were going to apply in the 2020-21 admissions cycle due to the unavailability of test centres for their SAT/ ACT exams. Even though there is so much uncertainty associated with this issue, the officials at both these institutions have decided to not move ahead with the at-home testing policies for obvious reasons.

In the light of this decision, many universities have decided to go test-optional including many Ivy League schools in order to ensure that their applicants who would be interested in applying to their universities, do not face any unbridled issues in the upcoming year. Many universities have also decided to give their applicants more time to apply by making sure that applications come in only during the regular round. Around 400 universities have already initiated the test optional arrangement for this year’s fall admissions and with prestigious universities in the US taking this step for the 2020-21 admissions cycle, it is expected that most of them will soon be adding themselves on to the list. The current list for universities that are test-optional for the 2020-21 admissions cycle can be found below:

For an even more comprehensive and extensive list, please click on the link below:

This is not to say that in the case that you do have your SAT/ ACT scores, you must not send them in as most of the admission committees have said that in the case that they are submitted, they will take it into consideration but the students are not obliged to do so. Safety is a priority and it is recommended that the situation must be looked into prior to registering for any of the exams at the moment. Like mentioned previously, some of the universities who have chosen to remove early action and early decisions processes may expect in some capacity if things improve, for the student to submit their scores in the regular decision round, if possible but as of now, they are not required to. Hence, it is always better to check the detailed admissions process and their subsequent changes for this cycle so that you’re clear on their stance on the admission process during these uncertain and tough times.

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