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ACT and SAT become optional

Classroom, Wright State University | Photograph by Soham Parikh | The Wright State Guardian

Classroom, WSU | Photograph by Soham Parikh | The Wright State Guardian


Required standardized tests such as the ACT and SAT are becoming an optional step for enrollment at many universities in Ohio both temporarily and permanently.

Ohio University

Ohio University is permanently making the ACT or SAT optional for students who are enrolling to their university.

“We created a test-optional pathway to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we believe providing that pathway to our future applicants is simply the right thing to do,” according to Ohio University’s admissions website.

Standardized testing can be stressful to students and cannot fully represent a student’s knowledge and capabilities.

“Removing the requirements to submit standardized test results (ACT or SAT) means eliminating a barrier for students and supports our mission to expand access to higher education without negatively impacting academic quality or student success outcomes,” according to Ohio University’s admissions website.

If a student cannot take the ACT or SAT or if they feel that their results do not represent their potential, there are other ways for the university to consider a potential student.

Information that is examined include, “strength and rigor of curriculum, performance in curriculum, class rank, grades, grade-point average, and grade trend,” according to Ohio University’s admissions website. 

Optional information such as “essays, letters of recommendation and information about extra-curricular interests, activities, honors or awards” are also evaluated.

University of Dayton

The University of Dayton is also one of the universities that will permanently make the ACT or SAT optional for enrollment in the fall of 2021 and beyond.

“As the leaders in providing complete price transparency, we are excited to announce that we are test-optional in admission for the fall 2021 entering class and beyond,” according to The University of Dayton’s website.

The University of Dayton will also look at a wide range of information to access the ability of a student if they choose to not submit standardized test results. 

“Alternatively, an applicant may choose not to submit the scores and instead place greater emphasis on their school record and other supporting documentation,” according to the University of Dayton’s website. 

Some of the Information that the university will look over includes letters of recommendation, grades in a college-level course and the weighted GPA average in college prep curriculum, according to the University of Dayton’s website.

Ohio State University

Ohio State University is not requiring 2021 spring, summer or fall applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores for enrollment.

“Because of the uncertainty of future test dates and availability of standardized tests in the 2021 admissions cycle, Ohio State will make the submission of SAT or ACT test scores optional for applicants to the Columbus campus for the 2021 spring, summer or autumn semesters,” according to Ohio State University’s admissions website.

The university understands the difficulties students are facing with preparing for and taking standardized tests.

“This decision underscores Ohio State’s commitment to reducing barriers for students who plan to apply to Ohio State, but are unable to access an ACT or SAT testing date,” according to Ohio State University’s admissions website.

Students who do not take or submit a standardized test result have no disadvantage with being accepted to the university.  In similar ways as other universities, Ohio State will evaluate a student in other ways.

“Our holistic review process looks for evidence that an applicant is prepared for academic rigor of the Ohio State classroom and is ready to contribute to the Ohio State community,” according to Ohio State University’s admissions website.

Many universities understand the stress students face with standardized testing especially during these times, so they are finding other ways to evaluate the abilities of a potential student.