The New Landscape of College Admissions Testing

There’s no question that the current pandemic is affecting the world of college admissions. It’s affecting the landscape of our entire education system. But one of the more confusing fallouts is the role testing (ACT, SAT, AP and Subject Tests) will play in the college admission process. In this blog post, we will update you as best we can and offer advice to confused students and parents.


The Old Narrative: It used to be that most colleges required an SAT or ACT score as part of a student’s admission application. Many colleges have been removing this requirement over the several few years, but it had remained an important part of the application process for the vast majority of high school seniors applying to college.

The New Narrative: All spring test dates of the SAT and ACT have been cancelled. (though the ACT hasn’t made an official announcement about the June test date) With that being the case, colleges have to make some major changes. Many colleges don’t want to require a test that students may not be able to take, or may not have as many opportunities to take as they used to. That being the case, many colleges are going test-optional. Nearly every day we hear about another college changing their policy to test-optional.

What this means:

  • Colleges that go test-optional are mostly still going to accept test scores. It doesn’t mean they are test-blind.
  • This means, students should still take the SAT or ACT if they can. They have everything to gain, and nothing to lose, by attempting to take these tests and doing the best they can on them.
  • Check at and for summer and fall test dates to be announced (likely test dates will be added), and sign up for them (July, Aug, Sept, October).
  • You can find a list of test-optional colleges at

SAT Subject Tests:

Old Narrative: There used to be a few, very selective colleges that required SAT Subject Tests. There were additional schools that recommended them as part of the admission process.

New Narrative: Colleges are scaling back on this. There are currently NO colleges that require Subject Tests for admission for the class of 2021. There are still some colleges, or programs within colleges, that recommend them.

What this means:

AP Exams:

Old Narrative: If a student took an AP course, they would take a proctored AP Exam at the end of the school year to demonstrate their mastery of the subject. Students can then submit these scores to colleges to earn college credit.

New Narrative: AP Exams will be offered in various formats, and will take place online so students will take them at home.

What this means:

  • Students might as well take these. It’s unclear if colleges will accept the results of the tests to award college credit, but without knowing the answer to this, it makes sense to take them.
  • Find more information at

Be sure to follow Campus Bound on social media, as we do our best to relay important information as it comes to us. Policies are constantly changing, and for the most accurate information, please consult with your Campus Bound College Counselor.

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