Is The ACT Really Necessary?


Ever since the pandemic in 2020, tons of institutions in the US have become “test-optional”, meaning that the student applying can choose whether they want to send in their ACT or SAT test scores or not. One of the reasons for this was to reduce the stress going into test taking, especially if the student was going through hard times. There was also the argument that race was also a factor in whether a student did well on standardized tests, with some arguing that certain races performed better than others. One critique of having standardized tests was simply put. Standardized tests such as the ACT and the SAT weren’t the best indicators of student performance in college. In reality, research has shown that the student’s GPA in high school is the best predictor of being successful in college.

Colleges and universities tend to choose students with good grades and indications of challenging themselves in their coursework, such as taking many AP classes. Moreover, standardized test scores are only one small fraction of what college admissions officers look at. Admissions officers have mentioned that seeing how dedicated a student is to a particular subject or having an overwhelming passion for a certain art are all positive factors they consider when deciding whether to admit students or not.

Still taking the ACT or SAT, however, can have its benefits. It can show growth and improvement over time and display the areas in which a student may be weak. The ACT for Juniors on March 7 is a great opportunity to see where each individual is at and how they can improve before the school year ends.

Aside from being an indicator of how well a student is doing in terms of basic concepts, standardized tests have continuously lost their value in college admission decisions since 2020. Currently, there are at least 80% of 4-year colleges and universities that don’t require standardized tests for Fall 2023 admissions. Overall, standardized testing has become less important over the years since the covid pandemic as many colleges and universities are veering more towards the student’s overall personality and interests and how well they are doing in school and not scoring two or four-digit numbers on standardized tests.