Colleges become test-optional, relieving students of excess stress


Rebecca kanfer '21

Although standardized testing has been postponed due to these unprecedented circumstances, students still feel the impending stress of working to achieve a higher score. Students utilize textbooks to practice their skills.

As the 2020 college admissions year comes to a close, aspiring juniors look onward to their upcoming year of the Common Application and the College Board with one noticeable change. Standardized test scores have become unnecessary and furthermore optional with an application for numerous schools due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, standardized testing dates have been postponed. According to the Washington Post, over one million juniors in high school will miss out on SAT and ACTs this spring due to the outbreak. Because of the uncertainty during this time, I think it is an advantage that many universities have come out and declared standardized test scores optional. Some of the notable college names include Williams College, Amherst and the University of California.

I think the decrease in necessity for standardized test scores relieves a vast amount of stress for high school students. According to Forbes, standardized tests have been anchored towards benefiting those who have wealth rather than students actually retaining material. Junior year is the time where most students strengthen their schedule and, on top of that, participate in extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs. With standardized test scores becoming optional, students can now focus and work towards a higher grade point average without the overwhelming stress of excelling during a three-hour test as well.

Students will benefit from the option of not including their test scores because standardized testing fails to showcase a student’s full potential. According to a poll done by neaToday, the majority of Americans say there is too much emphasis on testing. With a decrease in the need for standardized test scores, students will be able to showcase their strengths in their classes. In my opinion, testing on random topics like the SAT and ACT do, do not show any purposeful gain and prove more of a distraction for students from learning in their school classes.

Although, some may say that without standardized testing, more emphasis will be put on higher grade point averages, which would still fuel student stress. Although schools may look for higher grade point averages without test scores, I think students would be more motivated to align themselves with target grades if they did not have testing to worry about.

Overall, with the decreased need for standardized test scores, students now have the ability to work hard and gain a better grade point average. This would be done without the stress of needing a good standardized test score, relieving many students of the unnecessary long and tiring tests.