What’s the difference between Test-Optional, Test-Blind, and Test-Free College Admissions Policies?

For Fall 2022 admissions, nearly two-thirds of U.S. universities will again use test-optional, test-blind, or test-free admissions policies. Yet, for an entire generation of applicants (and their parents) for whom college admissions is synonymous with “take the SAT or ACT”, differentiating the policies can be helpful to continue strategizing for their individual college educational goals.  Under test-optional policies, students can…

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More About Test-Optional Admissions

We’ve abruptly and unequivocally changed the rules of college admissions for all expected-to-attend-college Gen Z’ers and, by extension, their parents, precipitating wide-ranging reactions. But, all reactions are underpinned by what one university administrator recently shared in a Maguire Associates survey:  “Students are confused by the various test requirements and second guess what we are really doing behind the curtain. There…

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Possible Test-Optional Admissions Prejudice?

Before COVID, submitting SAT or ACT scores were a must for every college applicant. During COVID though, test-optional policies were widely and quickly implemented to preserve as much access to college admissions as possible since many test centers (which are schools) closed, so SAT’s and ACT’s couldn’t be administered.  While many laud the change in policy, others may now be…

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News 93.1 KFBK interview with Jill Yoshikawa of Creative Marbles Consultancy

More about University of California Test Free Admissions

I recently talked with Aubrey Aquino of News Radio KFBK’s Morning Show about how the University of California’s (UC’s) test-free policy is impacting students through the Class of 2025 (current eighth graders) and potentially increases the subjectivity in admissions evaluations.  Take a listen: Browse our previous posts about how UC admissions staff evaluates students, as well as more about how…

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Quote: Steve Jobs

College Admissions In the Time of COVID

Recently, I spoke with families at the Sacramento Buddhist Church about the current state of education, particularly changes to the college admissions process as a result of the near holistic COVID-induced disruption. I’ve highlighted several issues in the following post, as well as included the full recording. Questions about widespread test-optional admissions dominated our conversation, as a multi-generational precedent in…

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CA State University

All California State Universities Are Test Blind for Fall 2022

The following is the emailed response from the California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office in relation to our Open Letter to California State University Chancellor Castro, asking for clarification about the CSU Fall 2022 testing policy. Of note: Dr. Grommo, CSU Systemwide Director of Enrollment Management Services, states that all 23 CSU campuses will enact test-blind admissions policies, not considering…

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CA State University

Open Letter to California State University Chancellor Castro

Dear Chancellor Castro: I respectfully seek clarification about the suspended requirement to submit SAT or ACT scores for Fall 2022 admissions, concerned that Fall 2022 applicants may wrongly assess their opportunities for admissions, thus potentially affecting their decision to submit a CSU application.  In preparing to advise clients about Fall 2022 admissions, I noted a discrepancy between the California State…

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All Ivy League Colleges Are Test Optional for Fall 2022

Since every Ivy League college—Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Brown, Columbia, Barnard*, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, and Cornell—extended their test-optional policies to include Fall 2022 admissions, current high school Class of 2022 juniors will not be obligated to submit SAT or ACT scores with their application.  Given the sudden change to test-optional policies, applicants inevitably ask whether they should submit SAT/ACT scores…

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Should I take the SAT or ACT? Part 2

Many high school juniors who will be applying to college for Fall 2022 admissions are desperate to understand whether major universities will require SAT or ACT scores as part of their applications.  I would first caution parents and students to be patient and flexible when defining an SAT or ACT test-taking strategy given admissions policies regarding requiring test scores, in…

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Is Fall 2021 University of California Applicant Increase Year Over Year Due to Change in SAT/ACT Policy?

According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, preliminary application counts for Fall 2021 released by the University of California show a 15% increase from last year’s Fall 2020 applications, netting nearly 250,000 single applications. Yet, will increases in applications render to more acceptances and more enrollment? Some speculate that the increase in applications is a consequence of newly implemented…

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Cal State Universities Test Optional for Fall 2022 Admissions

The 23 campus California State Universities (CSU) system is extending the test-optional admissions policy for another year, through Fall 2022 admissions. In other words, current high school juniors in the Class of 2022 will NOT be required to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their applications to any CSU campus for Fall 2022 admissions. As the University of…

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What Could Be Repercussions of Temporary Test-optional Policies?

For Fall 2021, 1575 colleges, nearly two-thirds of all U.S. universities are test optional (no SAT or ACT scores are required for admissions, but students can choose to submit scores) or test blind (no SAT or ACT scores will be considered, nor requested as part of the admissions evaluation), according to FairTest.  Since nearly two-thirds of all US universities will…

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Put Down Your #2 Pencils: The University of California Will Eliminate SAT/ACT Scores by 2025, Part 15

Fall 2021 admissions evaluations may likely be more subjective since by court order, University of California (UC) admissions officers cannot consider more objective SAT or ACT scores. Thus, applicants would be prudent to understand the UC’s holistic admissions evaluation, guided by the 14 Comprehensive Review points.  UC admissions officers consider academic factors, such as GPA and any improvements in grades…

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Put Down Your #2 Pencils: The University of California Will Eliminate SAT/ACT Scores by 2025, Part 13

The University of California (UC) will not require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores for first year admissions through the Fall of 2025, affecting students currently in grades 8-12 for the 2020-21 school year. Subjectivity in the admissions evaluations will likely increase, without the backstop of standardized test scores to compare other, less objective information, like extracurricular activity descriptions. …

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Have SAT or ACT test scores become blind?

On September 1, 2020, a California Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction, to be finalized on September 29, 2020, barring the use of SAT and ACT scores in Fall 2021 University of California (UC) admissions evaluations. Essentially, the judge implemented a “test-blind” admissions policy, meaning SAT or ACT scores cannot be considered, even if submitted, in UC admissions for…

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