It is no surprise that the on-going COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted – and continues to disrupt - various aspects of lives around the globe. From in-person classes moving online, school exams and other events being cancelled - the education sector, for one, has seen a multitude of transformations within a short span of time and continues to
evolve to this day.
One particular development that has got most high school students and parents talking is the recent news of various colleges and universities shifting to test-optional admissions process for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. This basically means that the submission of standardized tests scores like the SAT & ACT are now considered
optional for admissions to various universities in Qatar and abroad. While this seems like good news for many, students and parents must realize that, one, this is a temporary arrangement as consideration to those students who do not have the means and resources to take the standardized tests due to the ongoing pandemic; and two,
the students who are able to take the tests are advised to continue to submit their test scores in order to demonstrate their readiness for college-level work. Thus, despite not being penalized for the absence of score results along with their application, schools will continue to value and weigh in test scores of those that are able to produce the same.
The lack of standardized test scores would result in admissions committees scrutinizing students’ other application documents in search of evidence of academic excellence. Challenging courses like AP (Advanced Placement), above-average grades in academics, visible effort and commitment while pursuing other learning experiences, reports from other college-preparatory and qualifying testing where available, authentic admission essays and writing submissions and letters of recommendation from school counselors and teachers are some of the prominent factors that would be heavily focused on. The applicants that are not able to produce test scores might also be asked to provide additional evidence of continuing preparation like academic results pertaining to the current senior year as and when available for admission review.
Additionally, there has also been news about the cancellation of SAT 2 (Subject Tests) and the elimination of the optional SAT 1 Essay component post the June 2021 SAT administration. This decision by the College Board will likely further increase interest in and use of scores on other exams, most significantly the Advanced Placement (AP) tests, which the College Board also administers. Given that ACT, Inc., is moving to transition the ACT to a remote exam this year, we also anticipate an increased number of students may be opting to take the ACT—particularly if the ACT continues to include an optional essay component.
As changes in test formats and offerings evolve and college admission requirements follow suit, students and parents must ensure to continuously and thoroughly research before making assumptions about the application requirements and deadlines. If you are finding it hard to navigate through all the noise and are in search of expert guidance, ScorePlus – The Princeton Review can help. For more than 35 years, students have trusted The Princeton Review to help them get into their dream schools. To know more about the services offered, call 4436-8580 or email – [email protected]
Source: Press Release
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