Lasting Effects: Many Schools Remain Test-Optional Even After COVID-19 Pandemic


Standardized Testing No Longer?: With COVID-19 came a temporary change in college testing requirements, but this change might be here to stay

High school is stressful, and upperclassmen get an extra dose of that stress from the infamous SATs and ACTs. Usually, the idea of a standardized test determining your college admission can leave some high schoolers in a cold sweat, but thanks to more and more colleges and universities in the country deciding to do away with these unfavorable exams, students now have one less obstacle keeping them from pursuing their future. Unfortunately, despite hundreds of colleges no longer having this testing requirement, some Georgia state schools have refused to do away with their testing demands, leaving NAHS students frustrated.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges and universities chose to waive their SAT and ACT requirements, with many schools choosing to waive the requirement indefinitely, even after the pandemic. Upon hearing the news that so many colleges had decided to disregard the necessity of SATs and ACTs, students let out resounding shouts of excitement and relief. However, unfortunately, some of the most popular Georgia schools still require test scores as a part of their applications. Georgia Tech, Georgia State, and the ever-beloved University of Georgia still having these provisions disappointed many students. “At first, I was so excited to hear that I no longer needed to worry about taking the SAT,” said junior Kate Warren. “But, since I’m considering applying to UGA or Georgia Tech, I’m upset to know it’s still required.” 

However, beyond Georgia’s most popular state schools, many other colleges and universities nationwide, including some of the most prestigious ones (including Yale, Harvard, and Cornell), are going test-optional. Thanks to this, many students can now focus less on standardized tests and more on their GPA. “I was really worried and stressed out about scoring well on the SAT, ” said senior Rio Garcia. “But, now I’m happy to know that I can focus more of my attention on my grades and extracurriculars.”

Many schools becoming test-optional is a relief for many students. However, even though submitting scores may not be a requirement, students can still choose to if they feel their score will boost their application. “ I may still take the SAT and send my score just to boost my chances for getting in,” said junior Jaine Geckler. 

While there may be a bit of disappointment for some students applying in-state this year, it’s still important to note the increase in the number of colleges and universities choosing to be test-optional, either for the next few years or indefinitely. So whether you’re beginning, in the middle of, or finally finished with studying for and taking the SAT and ACT, just know for most schools, it’s up to you if you want to submit it. See you never standardized testing!