I hope you are doing well and staying safe! I want to update you on some recent news.
In light of SAT and ACT cancellations due to the coronavirus, some colleges and universities, including the UCs, have adjusted their testing requirements for 2021 applicants. Among these changes is a shift toward “test-optional” applications. This means that the schools will not require a standardized test (SAT or ACT) for admittance but will still accept and evaluate scores if a student elects to submit them. This is meant to take pressure off of students who may have reduced testing options as a result of this developing situation. Strong test scores will still almost assuredly be beneficial for students even at test-optional schools, especially the more competitive schools, and test scores are still required for many schools pending additional developments.
My advice would be, if possible, to take the most cautious route. Continuing preparation may be our safest option: having strong test scores can never be a detriment but lacking them may be. This temporary shift to test-optional admissions can also offer us a bit more control during the application process: we take the test and then WE ultimately decide if it’s worth it. If the test helps us show off — great. If it doesn’t quite align with the GPA or other elements — we can control what colleges see. It may be difficult to improve GPAs dramatically at this point, but these tests can act as a tool to more quickly demonstrate a student's academic prowess.
Additionally, I would encourage you to contact your college counselor and consult your college list to see if these changes will have an effect on your testing requirements. If schools have changed their testing requirements, students may have to rely on their GPAs or other academic measures, and I’m happy to assist in bolstering these as well.
These are uncertain times for everyone, and there will be more information coming out over the next few weeks, and I will keep you as informed as possible during this time of rapid change. I know there are many personal aspects to consider, such as time commitment, budget, and energy allocation. I am here to support you through this decision and discuss options with you.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions; I am always here and happy to help!