College expectations are changing

With the ACT and the SAT not being mandatory at all colleges, students wonder what they do want.

Frustrated student

Frustrated student

Colleges around the U.S. are changing what is expected on college applications immensely.

As of 2022, at least 1,785 U.S. colleges and universities will not require ACT or SAT scores from applicants seeking to enroll in fall 2022. This relieves the stress of standardized tests for me and my peers. Having tests decide whether or not you’re worthy of getting into college is extremely exhausting and hard to live up to with this expectation set upon you. Another aspect about these tests is how people react based on your score. If you didn’t do well then, lots of judgment is passed onto you.

Being in high school alone is enough to give you a heart attack. Between sports, driving, homework, friends, jobs, and managing your own personal life, adding anything to that list is stressful. Stress alone has health defects such as trouble sleeping and high blood pressure. 

Having 75% of colleges being test-optional makes it easier for students to shine through other accomplishments like clubs and sports, rather than having their future based on a single test score. 

However, with so many schools now being test-optional, this leads to many students wondering what colleges are looking for. With standardized tests not being part of the equation, the importance of a strong GPA rises, along with your class rank, and the intensity of how hard you challenged yourself with your schedule. Knowing how you are as a person and how you treat the world is what colleges want. Someone who will help others and be a leader in the right direction.

To help deal with that anxiety, some tips for the upcoming high school graduates include actively being a leader in your community. Some examples include volunteering with people of special needs or the homeless. Another example includes being in boy scouts and completing your eagle project. In addition to that, participating in extracurricular activities such as being on a sports team or being in an academically-impressive club, and maintaining a high GPA, will all help you achieve your collegiate goal.

Saying that, prestigious schools are still interested in test scores and if you had a hard schedule with not only passing, but excellent grades. As someone who isn’t the best at taking tests with minimal pressure, applying to colleges with these new additions makes me feel happy and less stressed out.

Even with everything high school has in store for you, I’m glad the SAT isn’t on my mind!