For the student that “doesn’t test well” it's important to understand the “why” behind that challenge and then work to figure out a solution that will support their academic goals. Solutions can range from not taking tests, delaying taking tests, test practice or prep, or assessing if additional time/accommodations are needed to successfully take a test, all of which would be something that would be discussed with a student and family. Having a student take a standardized test that has no added benefit in the college process or is not a requirement for admissions should be reviewed when beginning the college process. Opting out of the SAT/ACT is not the rule of thumb for the majority of college applicants, as 70% of colleges still require standardized tests for admissions, but shifts initiated through the work of Fair Test creates more options for students pursuing post-secondary education opportunities. Currently, there are approximately 800 schools that are test-optional. Students can identify which schools have a test-optional policy on the Fairtest website and also learn what additional criteria a college requires when opting for a test-optional application e.g., are other supplemental essays required. Assessing whether testing will add value for an applicant or what testing options are available, can be a critical piece of the application puzzle for supporting student success.
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