April 27, 2020
"Despite the test-optional status, strong test scores can still be a help. Paul Siemens, director of Advantage Testing, Los Angeles, a tutoring and test prep company says, “In the admissions process, colleges have always weighed students’ accomplishments against their perceived opportunities. While it’s not an exact science, it is a reasonable and meritocratic approach to an intensely competitive process. The most competitive colleges will have very high expectations of a student who has grown up with many privileges, and modified expectations of students with perceived disadvantages.” In general, he thinks that the privileged students are generally expected to be able to score well on tests such as the ACT or SAT. He adds, “we have traditionally counseled students from independent or well-resourced schools to apply to test-optional colleges with test scores unless they have a very good reason not to.” But this year, since colleges are going the extra mile to demonstrate empathy and flexibility he believes they will likely take into account that students may have many reasons for not submitting test scores. “Nonetheless, it would still seem inevitable that students who do submit strong test scores in this landscape will be rewarded,” he says."