The SAT/ACT is an either/or proposition: Don’t make life more stressful than it needs to be!
As a result of the pandemic, many schools opted to go test optional for the Fall, 2021 admissions cycle.
According to The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, as of 11/24/2020, more than 1,665 accredited, 4-year Colleges and universities are test optional for the upcoming Fall Admissions cycle. On the surface, this seems like a large number; however, when the pandemic subsides, it seems likely that the majority of colleges and universities will once again require a standardized test score as part of the application process. While some institutions will remain test optional for the foreseeable future (e.g., University of California schools), others (e.g., University of North Carolina schools), have stated their intentions to return to their pre-pandemic test policy.
Bottom line: standardized testing isn’t going anywhere. That said, do students need to take both the SAT and the ACT?
For my money, since the SAT/ACT is an either/or proposition, I see little justification for students to put sustained effort, time, and emotional energy into both tests. Figuring out which test is the better fit and working hard to learn and implement strategies is key.
So, how does one know which test is the better fit?
In the ideal world, one where time and money aren’t considerations, students would sign up for and take both tests under timed conditions at a testing center. In the real world, one where time and money, not to mention stress, are considerations, students can complete and score practice tests and compare the outcomes. Other data to consider are time and comfort level with each test.