Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, colleges across the country have embraced a “test-optional” approach to SAT and ACT score reporting. Some have referred to it as a temporary adjustment, while others have made the optional method their permanent approach. And in some cases, the school eliminated the need years ago, even before the outbreak.

A new survey shows that over 80% of colleges in the U.S. will not require students to submit their standardized test scores as part of the application process in 2023, even as threats from COVID-19 recede. This means about 1,835 universities and colleges are considered either test-blind or test-optional schools this year. Read below to learn more about whether SAT scores are required for the class of 2023.

Why the Shift in Standardized Testing Policies?

The COVID-19 epidemic first rendered congregating at testing places unsafe, requiring these policy modifications for forced test scoring-based entry.

The more interesting shift, however, is the transition from a transitory policy position to a more permanent or long-term one. According to experts, schools that have made the switch understand that ACT and SAT scores do not effectively represent intellectual merit. These experts frequently argue that the tests measure family income, which should not be a consideration in college admissions decisions. They feel that instituting a permanent test-blind policy should serve as a model for all institutions.

How Many Schools are Test Optional in 2023

Around 1,835 schools will maintain a “test-optional” policy for the fall of 2023, allowing candidates to choose whether or not to submit test scores as part of their college applications. Test-optional universities state that if a student does not submit test scores, their application will not be penalized or disadvantaged.

Additionally, 85 schools plan to be test-blind, meaning no ACT or SAT test results will be considered in the admissions process, even if a student submits them. So far, 1,450 schools have made test-blind and test-optional policies permanent, so admissions without scores are the new normal.

What Schools are Test Optional for 2023?

Some institutions ending the use of standardized test scores for admissions, either temporarily or permanently, include all eight Ivy League institutions, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, Amherst, Wesleyan, Northwestern, Duke, Stanford, and many flagship schools.

Some colleges that have adopted this policy permanently are:

Allegheny College 

American University  

Bard College  

Bates College 

Bennington College 

Brandeis University 

Bryn Mawr College 

Bucknell University  

Clark University  

Colby College  

Colorado College  

Connecticut College  

Denison University 

Dickinson College  

Earlham College  

Franklin and Marshall College  

Furman University 

George Washington University 

Gettysburg College  

Hobart and William Smith Colleges  

Knox College  

Lawrence University 

Lewis and Clark College  

Macalester College 

Mount Holyoke College  

Muhlenberg College  

University of Chicago 

Why Students Still Need to Be Prepared with Tutoring

The disadvantage of universities dropping test score requirements is that other factors evaluated during admission decisions, such as GPA and class rank, would carry greater weight than they did previously when test results were employed.

Therefore, it would benefit students to boost their chances of preparing for college and the admissions journey by beginning or continuing tutoring throughout high school. This can help ensure they are as prepared as possible for the rigorous application process that will be reshaped to account for the absence of test scores.

Contact Jantzi for professional tutoring and more to prepare for college and gain an advantage when the time to apply for admissions arrives.