(888) 394-5060

The Enduring Value of Standardized Tests

Test optional? While standardized tests are optional at many universities and colleges, many top schools are still taking test scores into consideration. Keep reading to see our analysis of some top universities from the 2023 Common Data Set for college admissions.

Why Standardized Tests Remain a Key to Unlocking Top University Doors

In a shifting academic landscape, where test-optional policies are popular, the 2023 Common Data Set for college admissions reveals a surprising and crucial insight: the enduring impact of standardized tests like the SAT and ACT have in admissions decisions at top-ranked universities.

Key Insights:

A Dominant Majority

0 %

84.4% of top schools utilize SAT or ACT scores in their admission decisions. This finding underscores the ongoing relevance of these exams in the competitive landscape of college admissions.

High Stakes

A significant number of top universities report that students’ standardized test scores are an “important” or “very important” factor in their admissions decisions. 

0 %

53.4% categorize SAT/ACT scores as “Important” or “Very Important.”

18 %

A mere 4.4% of schools do not consider standardized test scores at all.

This means standardized tests still hold a near-universal importance in the application process.

Common Data Source

Academic Approach Tutoring and Test Prep | A group of people in graduation gowns and diplomas.

Why This Matters

In a test-optional environment, it’s easy to underestimate the power of a strong SAT or ACT score. However, this data tells a different story. 

With many top schools still relying on these scores, a high score performance can help a student’s application rise above the rest. It’s not just about meeting a requirement—it’s about standing out in a pool of highly qualified candidates.

For students aspiring to gain entry into prestigious institutions, a strategic approach to standardized testing is still critical. Excelling in these tests can be the differentiator that sets your student’s application apart, especially in competitive fields or for schools where these scores are deemed “Very Important.”

Empowering Students for Success

Our mission is to guide students through the landscape of standardized testing. With a deep understanding of the enduring value of standardized tests, we provide tailored tutoring and resources to help you achieve your highest potential.

Academic Approach Tutoring and Test Prep | A young woman with curly hair standing in a park holding a book.

Take the First Step

Contact us today to learn how our expert guidance can maximize your chances of admission to your dream school.

SAT/ACT scores now required for Cornell applicants