Applying to college costs money. The value proposition of getting into the RIGHT school is …high. So the lean should be to apply to “more” rather than “less” – but for many, there is… waste. Straight A student with 2300+ SATs and the football coach wanting you? You really don’t need a second “back up school”. B student with 2000ish SATs and a reporter on the school paper? Don’t bother applying to Harvard.
There are fees and yeah, they add up: There are application fees, registration fees, financial aid fees, and fees to send your test scores to the right colleges. It can seem like everyone is trying to take your money. (They are. Welcome to America.) So, before you register to retake the SAT or ACT, let’s be sure that you actually need to. Do you agree with any of the following statements? If yes, you should consider retaking the test.
Depends. You will have a choice as to which set of scores you want to send to colleges. Many colleges will tell you that they only look at and consider your highest scores. So, if you scored higher in the math section in the spring and higher in another verbal in the fall, they will combine the highest scores from each section to make a new high score for you. Check out the college’s website to see what their policies are on test scores. And, if you're a bit neurotic and don't trust the admission office only to use your high scores, then make sure you only send your best scores.
Many colleges require that you take the SAT Subject Tests. Sometimes they will tell you exactly which tests they want you to take, other times they will leave it up to you to choose the subject tests you are best prepared for.
Many schools and educators have begun to question whether standardized tests are helpful in evaluating a student’s application and in predicting how they’ll do in college. So far, lots of colleges including Bowdoin, Smith, and Wake Forest have gone “test-optional” which means that you are not required to submit standardized test scores. Cool idea, in practice; unclear results, in reality;
Check out this list of “test score optional” colleges. But if you opting to go to a school “advertising themselves” as “score optional” it is likely that they are attracting a lot of low-scorers. We live under a system where scores (winning) matters. So… be careful what you wish for.