ACT & SAT Optional College Admissions

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ACT & SAT Optional College Admissions

There’s a growing trend at colleges to make standardized tests optional for admissions. At last count, over 1,000 universities do not require you to take the ACT or SAT.

Before you throw away your number 2 pencils, let’s take a closer look at this. Are there any colleges you want to apply to that require standardized tests? The answer is probably “yes,” so it’s good advice to prep for and take the ACT and/or SAT.  Knowing that there are colleges with test-optional admissions takes some of the pressure off.  But you’ll still want to do your best, so you have choices when it comes to narrowing down the list of colleges where you plan to apply, since about 80% of colleges still require standardized tests as part of admissions.

University of Chicago recently made headline news when they added themselves to the list of test-optional universities. Why all the media buzz? Because University of Chicago is a top university. They are ranked #3 among national universities by US News and World Report Best College Rankings, tied for #3 with Yale, right after Princeton and Harvard.

Let’s take a closer look at this progressive point of view in context. The admissions information on the University of Chicago website starts with the refreshing statement, “At UChicago, you are more than your GPA or test score.”  They don’t stop at making standardized tests optional; they also strive to get a holistic view of applicants by offering the option to submit a video or creative project as a supplement to the college admissions application.

Here’s the rundown of required and optional admissions materials for University of Chicago:


Application for Admission and Supplement Essays
Application Fee or Automatic Fee Waiver
Secondary School Report and Transcript
Two Teacher Evaluations
College Official’s Report and Transcript (transfer students only)
English Language Proficiency Test Scores (international applicants only)
Midyear Report (first-year applicants only)


Financial Aid Application
Optional Video Profile
Supplemental Materials: Optional Art, Creative, Research, or Other Supplements

Interested in learning which colleges are test-optional? The National Center for Fair and Open Testing publishes a searchable database of test-optional four-year colleges and universities.

By |2018-10-01T06:10:02+00:00July 16th, 2018|Blog, Home|1 Comment

About the Author:

Free consultation - Professional writer and UCLA Extension marketing instructor. Alumni interviewer for Pomona College admissions. Credentials: MBA from UCLA Anderson, College Counseling Certificate from UCLA Extension, Phi Beta Kappa Pomona College.

One Comment

  1. Don July 18, 2018 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    I had not heard about this trend at all. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Yes, it is a very big deal that University of Chicago is making standardized tests optional, since they are so highly regarded.

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