College Counseling: Testing


The issue of standardized testing can provoke anxiety in even the calmest of college applicants. There is a lot to understand, and we hope this page will help you feel more comfortable with the landscape. That said, so much of testing is based on individual goals and priorities that a conversation with your Process Coach may be the best way to figure out your own approach.  We welcome you to call, write, or set up a meeting to discuss testing at any time.  Testing plans are a topic of every junior family meeting.

Test scores may play a significant role in the admission decision at some colleges, and to state otherwise would be misleading. In recent years, though, this landscape has changed dramatically. Many colleges and universities have now made testing optional. Still others, such as the University of Washington and The University of California system, have gone test blind. In every case testing will never be the sole piece of information used to evaluate your application, and only in very rare cases will they be the most important. Test scores matter, but they are just one data point in a file full of data and narratives that will ultimately represent you to the school.

There are many schools that are “test-optional,” meaning they do not require you to report your test scores. These schools really do mean optional – they feel that standardized test scores may not always represent a student’s academic potential and achievement.