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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The Death of Ignorance

Is the College Landscape Experiencing a Tectonic Shift Post Pandemic?

The effects of the COVID-induced disruptions to education have yet to be quantified in the intermediate and long term, thus educators struggling to redefine “normal” learning for years to come, as an entire COVID-affected generation, Pre-K through College, matriculates through the educational system. Additionally, the SAT, an 80 year old admissions requirement, is being summarily dismissed and subsequently, questioned. Students…

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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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What the University of California test-free policy means for applicants

Given the University of California (UC) test-free admissions policy, potential UC applicants will need to rethink how they prepare for admissions as well as frame their qualifications when applying, as subjectivity in admissions evaluations will likely increase: As more students may be emboldened to apply, especially those who believe standardized test scores do not reflect their aptitude, thus increasing applicant…

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The UC Extends Test-Free Admissions Through Fall 2025

On May 14, 2021, University of California (UC) officials agreed to extend “test-free” admissions policies through Fall 2025, meaning SAT or ACT scores will not be required nor considered in either admissions or scholarship considerations for the next four application cycles. Current Class of 2022 high school juniors through current eighth graders will be affected by the settlement agreement in…

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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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2021 Creative Marbles’ Educational Retainer Offerings Continued

As no two families are the same, we offer a diverse range of advising options for parents and students to retain our counsel, which were first introduced in the Elite and Selective Tiers. The following offerings in the Preparatory Tier backstop a families’ efforts with strategic, poignant guidance at timely intervals, utilizing the totality of experience as educators for the…

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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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College Recruitment Rebooted or Refined

On-going cancellations of the SAT and ACT administrations has interrupted the traditional college admissions recruitment cycle, which may eventually affect demand for college.  Rick Clark, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Georgia Tech, writes:  The mass cancellations and ensuing test-optional landslide has severely limited a big part of how colleges solicit applications through what we call “search.”…However, this traditional source of…

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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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