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What is Test Optional?

Test Optional for College in 2023

The practice of allowing applicants to choose whether or not to submit standardized test scores as part of their college application is referred to as test-optional college admissions. Since a growing number of colleges and universities have adopted test-optional policies, this strategy has gained popularity. In this essay, I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of making college application tests optional in 2023 and provide an in-depth analysis of the arguments in favor of and against this strategy.

The argument in favor of test-optional admissions: allows students to showcase strengths and abilities in other areas of the application

Argument for Going Test Optional

One of the main arguments in favor of test-optional admissions is that it lets students show off their abilities and strengths in other parts of the application. Some students may not perform as well as they would like due to test anxiety or other factors, and standardized tests like the SAT and ACT can be high-stress, time-consuming, and costly. Students can concentrate on other aspects of their application, such as their grades, extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation, which may better reflect their academic and personal potential, if the test is made optional.

The fact that it helps to level the playing field for students from disadvantaged backgrounds is another argument in favor of test-optional admissions. It has been demonstrated that standardized tests have a bias in favor of students who come from more affluent families and may have had access to costly test prep courses or private tutors. Colleges and universities can consider a wider range of applicants and potentially increase campus diversity by making tests optional.

The argument against test-optional admissions: test scores provide valuable information about an applicant’s academic abilities and potential success in college

Arguments Against Test Optional in 2023

However, there are numerous arguments against making college admissions tests optional. The possibility that an applicant’s test scores can provide useful information regarding their academic abilities and potential success in college is one of the primary concerns. Skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and reading comprehension, which are crucial to success in higher education, are measured by standardized tests. Colleges and universities may be missing out on valuable information about an applicant’s academic potential by making tests optional.

Argument against test-optional admissions: may create confusion and stress for students and families

Might make it confusing for families

Another reason to oppose test-optional admissions is that it may cause students’ and their families’ expectations regarding the application process to become muddled. If they believe that their test scores will make them more competitive, some students may be unsure whether or not to submit their scores. Additionally, they may feel pressured to do so. Students who are unsure of how to present themselves to colleges and universities may experience unnecessary stress and anxiety as a result of this.

Conclusion: decision to go test-optional depends on individual circumstances and priorities of colleges and universities

Conclusion it depends on the family

In conclusion, the decision to make college admission tests optional in 2023 is complicated and involves weighing the benefits and drawbacks of this strategy. On the one hand, test-optional admissions can help to level the playing field for underprivileged students by allowing them to highlight their strengths and abilities in other areas of the application. However, going test-optional may cause students and their families confusion and stress, and test scores can provide valuable information about an applicant’s academic abilities. In the end, each student’s individual circumstances and the priorities of the colleges and universities to which they are applying will determine whether or not to go test-optional.

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