What Does Test Optional Really Mean?

Test Optional means that it is not mandatory for students to submit their SAT or ACT scores as part of their college application. However, they will consider SAT and ACT scores if they are submitted.

If you decide not to submit your test scores, the rest of your application, such as your grades, essays, extracurricular activities, and achievements, must be strong enough to be admitted. Remember, you are competing against students that may have opted to submit their test scores.

Consider why you would not want to submit your test scores. Being a test optional college does not mean that the college has relaxed its admission standards. Also, test optional policies differ from college to college.

Questions to consider as to whether you should submit test scores:

  • Are test scores needed to be considered for the Honors Program/College?
  • Are test scores needed for scholarship/grants consideration?
  • Do you need to submit an additional essay or other materials in lieu of test scores?
  • Are test scores required if applying to certain selective majors such as nursing or engineering?
  • Will you need to take a freshman placement test?
  • Is the college only test optional if you have a predetermined GPA?
  • If you are considering Division I or II sports you will need to submit your scores to the college and the NCAA.

If you have strong test scores that are at or above the 50th percentile for the college you are applying to, and a strong application, you might consider submitting your scores. However, if you do not have strong test scores, but the rest of your application is stellar you may consider not submitting your scores. If you do not submit your scores colleges will place more emphasis on the rest of your application.

Remember, colleges want to assess the best of you, be that with or without your test scores.

SAGE Scholars News

Ottawa University Kansas Joins SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards
Ottawa University Kansas Joins SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards
April, 2022
Ottawa University Kansas, which offers a remarkable number of varsity sports teams — 33 — to serve a student body of 650 undergraduates, has become the 11th Kansas private college to join the SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards program. 88% of OU Kansas students are athletes, including numerous unexpected possibilities: beach volleyball, bowling, competitive cheer and dance, Esports,...
Laguna College of Art + Design Joins SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards
Laguna College of Art + Design Joins SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards
April, 2022
Laguna College of Art + Design, preparing individuals for careers as creative artists and designers in a culturally and ethnically diverse world, has joined the SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards program -- the 14th participating college to specialize exclusively in the arts. Home to 700+ student artists, LCAD offers 11 undergraduate majors, nine minors, three graduate degree programs, and a...
Simpson College Joins SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards
Simpson College Joins SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards
March, 2022
Simpson College, where nearly 100 students participate on the highly-acclaimed Speech and Debate Team, winner of Pi Kappa Delta national championships four of the past five years, has joined the SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards program. Speech and Debate scholarships are available at Simpson, located near Des Moines, Iowa’s state capital. Small class sizes create a dynamic learning...
CrossState Solutions Partners With SAGE Scholars
CrossState Solutions Partners With SAGE Scholars
March, 2022
CrossState Solutions Partners With SAGE Scholars To Offer NJ, PA Credit Unions Unique College Scholarship Program. Harrisburg, PA and Hightstown, NJ — SAGE Scholars (www.tuitionrewards.com) and CrossState Solutions have partnered to give New Jersey and Pennsylvania credit unions of all sizes access to Tuition Rewards®, a program that helps families afford a quality four-year...
Richard Ekman Joins SAGE Scholars Board of Directors
Richard Ekman Joins SAGE Scholars Board of Directors
March, 2022
Richard Ekman, Ph.D., recently retired president of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), has joined the board of directors of SAGE Scholars, Philadelphia, the nation’s largest private college preparation and funding organization. During his 21 years as CIC president, Ekman was a highly visible advocate of the value of private liberal arts education, increasing the council’s membership to...
St. Francis College Joins SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards
St. Francis College Joins SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards
February, 2022
St. Francis College, which is moving in September to a new downtown Brooklyn campus that will accommodate an expected jump in enrollment to 3,500 students by 2026, has become the 15th Franciscan-affiliated Catholic college to join the SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards program. According to its President, Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz: “For more than 160 years, St. Francis College has demonstrated...