Do I need to take the SAT or ACT?
What a question, right? Your first thought is that the answer is a resounding,
But what if I told you, it depends? You might be a bit taken back. Let me explain.
At the present time, 24 States (plus Washington D.C.) require students to take the SAT or the ACT.
The choice of which test, often resides with a school district, unless the State Dept of Education has chosen for the entire State. So, what happens to the "gray States"? Well, there is good news and bad news.
The good? You don't HAVE to take the SAT or ACT. BUT! Just because your State doesn't require you to do it, doesn't mean you shouldn't. (more on that in a minute). The bad news? If you do take it, you have to pay for it. States that require the exam to be administered pay for the test fee. That is very good news for many parents.
The good? You don't HAVE to take the SAT or ACT. BUT! Just because your State doesn't require you to do it, doesn't mean you shouldn't. (more on that in a minute). The bad news? If you do take it, you have to pay for it. States that require the exam to be administered pay for the test fee. That is very good news for many parents. They have fee waivers. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can take the exam, at no cost, and send your scores out, for free. You can check those requirements here.
Ok, so your State is a "gray State", but you want to go to college. Don't you still need to take the SAT or ACT? This time the answer is a resounding......
I know! It's confusing, but, it's a matter of where you want to go to College.
At the present time, the United States has, approximately 5,000 colleges and universities. As of July 1, 2019, 1,000 of them have gone test optional. In my State (Colorado) Denver University made the announcement this past Spring. They state, on their website,
However, they do encourage students to take the exam and if the student feels it does represent their abilities, to submit the scores.
So, what do you do? If you're in a State that requires the exam (either one), your decision is made for you. If, however, you are in a State where it's not required, check the website of your dream college. If it's optional, talk to your parents and school counselor. Maybe it's not a good indication of your academic abilities. Or, maybe it is.
It comes down to checking, everything. Remember it's YOUR dream to go to a particular college. Make sure you check that you've done everything you need to do, to be admitted. Don't leave anything to chance.