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  • Writer's pictureMarcia Farias

To test or not to test?

Should you take the SAT or the ACT?

In short, if you possibly can, YES!

Standardized test scores are relevant, especially for international students who study in different educational systems.

It levels the playing field, and signals to the university that you are prepared for university.

If your GPA (grade point average) is not as high as you would have liked, a high test score can also be very helpful and enhance your application.

On the other hand, if your test scores are lower than the 50th percentile scores divulged by the college you are applying to, you may opt not to show your scores, depending on the policy adopted by the university.

This is a decision that needs to be strategically thought out, and your independent college counselor will be able to adequately advise you.

Due to the pandemic, which closed many test centers, the number of students who applied test-optional (did not provide test scores with their applications) greatly increased. But those who did test, and obtained high scores, had an extra credential to show, which may have increased their admittance chances.

An extra bonus: many colleges accept a certain SAT score (which varies from one institution to the other) as substitute for the English language proficiency exams (TOEFL, IELTS, DUOLINGO etc).

So, yes, take the test, if it is being offered in your city.

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