College Admissions: Test-Optional or Test Blind?

Applying to college can be an overwhelming experience, especially regarding standardized testing. Some colleges require students to submit their SAT or ACT scores as part of their applications, while others offer test scores optionally. In recent years, a small but growing number of colleges have adopted a “test-blind” admissions policy, meaning that they do not consider SAT or ACT scores at all when making admission decisions. So, which is best for you? Let’s take a closer look.

Advantages of Test-Optional Policies

While test-optional policies can level the playing field for some students, they can also create new barriers for others. For example, low-income students who cannot afford tutors or prep courses may still need help preparing for and taking the SAT or ACT. In addition, some critics argue that colleges are increasing socioeconomic inequality on campus by de-emphasizing standardized test scores. After all, wealthy students who can afford expensive tutors and private school degrees will still have an advantage over their less affluent peers. 

The Case for Test-Blind Policies

  • A small but growing number of colleges have adopted “test-blind” admissions policies in recent years. These colleges do not consider SAT or ACT scores when making admission decisions. These policies aim to create a more diverse and inclusive student body by removing barriers to access for low-income and first-generation college students. 

    Concluded that going test-blind helped increase both racial and economic diversity on campus. The study found that 19% of Black and Latino students were admitted to Pomona under its old policy; that number jumped to 35% under the new policy. In addition, 16% of admitted students came from families earning less than $40,000 per year; under the new policy, that number rose to 28%. 

    Going test-blind helped increase both racial and economic diversity on campus.” In other words: millionaires still have an unfair advantage over everyone else because they can buy their way into top schools by donating money or building state-of-the-art facilities.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding standardized testing and college admissions. The best decision for you will depend on your circumstances and preferences. A traditional policy may be best for you if you’re a strong test taker with good grades. If you’re struggling with standardized tests or come from an underrepresented background, a test-optional or test-blind policy may give you a better chance of getting into your dream school. Whichever route you take, remember that a single test score does not determine your worth as a student and person. Good luck!


For any question contact 

Yeraz Benlian