A Senior Reflects on Junior Year College Admissions Testing

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Many people claim that junior year is the most stressful year out of their high school career. This can be due to many things, including the beginning of the college application process and standardized testing, including the dreaded SATs and ACTs. When I was beginning to look at colleges, I was very stressed because in my head, my scores were crucial. I felt that if I did not have the right GPA or standardized test scores, colleges would not even look at my application.

However, after going through the entire college application process, I can confidently say that your scores are not everything. Although they are important, they will not make or break your  application. Most colleges and universities are leaning towards making tests optional now which means you can use other strengths to show why you would be a good fit for that school.

However, for those of you who feel how I did when I was going through the process, start early. I signed up for my first SATs in September but I did not study before the test date in October. My parents told me not to study my first time taking the test, so I could see exactly what I struggle with, in order to see what I need to focus on for my next time taking the test. I highly recommend doing this because I was able to pinpoint exactly what I needed to study in order to increase my score. A lot of my friends had a tutor for their standardized tests but I studied straight from the SAT Prep book I bought off of Amazon.

Although I spent a lot of time preparing for the SATs, I decided to try the ACTs and see how well I could do on that. I highly recommend trying both tests to see which one is a better fit for you. Some people do better on one test over the other because both tests exhibit the subjects differently.

Although it may seem like test scores are everything in order for a college to notice your application out of the thousands they receive every year this is not always the case.  As long as you have a well rounded application and a well written personal essay, you are all set. Do not stress too much about standardized testing, however if you plan on taking the SATs or ACTs, I highly recommend starting as early as possible.