CCPrep’s Guidance on 2020 SAT/ACT Testing for the Class of 2021
The emergence of COVID-19 has had profound impacts on the routine operations of almost every aspect of American life. The SAT & ACT Exams are no exception. In fact, we continue to receive regular updates from the College Board, ACT, & college admissions offices about changes to the SAT/ACT exam dates schedule & how those tests will factor into the admissions process for students in the Classes of 2021 and 2022.
This FAQ is our effort to provide as much clarity & guidance to the students & families in the CCPrep community as possible, so that you can be empowered with the information that you need to make the right decision for your students.
FAQ: I heard that colleges are no longer requiring the SAT/ACT for students in the Class of 2021 and 2022. Does that mean my student does not need to worry about their SAT/ACT score?
It’s important to know that colleges themselves decide what they will require for admission, and admissions requirements for students in the Class of 2021 and 2022 will vary widely by college. Also, some colleges may use test scores for scholarships and/or placement. Here’s a summary of the CSUs, UCs, & private colleges are saying about the SAT/ACT for Classes of 2021 and 2022 students:
California State Universities (CSUs): The CSUs have announced that they will not be using the SAT/ACT at all in their admissions decisions for the Class of 2021. So if your student is applying only to CSUs, your student does not need an SAT/ACT score. For the Class of 2022 and beyond the CSU system will return to requiring SAT/ACT test scores.
University of California System (UCs): The UCs have announced that SAT/ACT scores are not required for the Classes of 2021 and 2022. However, the UCs will still look at the SAT/ACT scores of students who are able to submit them with their applications. The UC has advised us that SAT/ACT scores will be “value added.” This means a strong SAT/ACT score will still bolster a student’s application. Based on our past experience, admission to selective (UC) campuses requires that applicants avail themselves of every opportunity to improve their overall competitiveness. If your student is able to take the SAT/ACT this fall, we highly recommend continuing to prep for the best possible SAT/ACT score to maximize your student’s chances of admission at the UC schools.
Private Colleges & Out-of-State Colleges: While the fact that some private & out of state colleges have made the SAT/ACT “optional” has made big headlines over the past month, not all of them have made that decision. Addtionally, like the UC system, many colleges may still use test results to add value to an application. This means students applying to private or out-of-state colleges should still ensure that they take the SAT and/or ACT exams.
Summary: Unless you know your student is only applying to colleges that will not consider the SAT/ACT at all in 2021 (for example, only applying to CSUs), it’s best to have your student continue to prep for the SAT and/or ACT exams in order to help them craft their strongest possible applications. We harbor anxiety that students who choose to forgo the SAT/ACT because some colleges have gone “test optional” will find it tough to be awarded admittance to their top choice universities. For students in the Class of 2022, you should still plan on prepping and taking your SAT/ACT exams.