COVID-19 Impact on SAT/ACT Tests

SAT/ACT Tests Optional for Certain Colleges in 2020-2021 Application Cycle

By: Rachael Flores

COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the education system around the world as most students have transitioned to online classes. In the US, government officials continue to encourage social distancing, which in effect has resulted in many extracurricular activities to be canceled, and standardized tests to be postponed. This has caused a lot of strain as many students struggle to reconfigure their plans to adjust to this new normal. Despite the challenges of this new environment, there are actually many opportunities that students can take advantage of from home in order to build their profile and stand out. 

For rising seniors applying for college, this time of uncertainty has prompted universities to revise their application processes and remove traditional criteria. For example, Yale University states, “We also recognize that many students’ personal circumstances may make it especially difficult to achieve at their typical academic level during this time. These considerations will also be part of our committee’s whole-person review.” Yale also adds that students will not receive penalization if there are missing letter grades during this course period. 

Like many other top colleges, Yale has also omitted SAT subject tests scores for 2020- 2021 applicants. The university states, “The tests will play no role of the evaluation process for first-year applicants this year.” Scores from other exams such as AP’s, IB’s and AICE’s may be submitted (but not required). Several universities have now implemented temporary test optional policies for this year’s application pool. 

Please see below for a list of colleges where SAT and ACT test submissions are either not required or optional for the 2020-2021 application cycle:





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