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I get questions all the time. Here’s a popular one I receive from applicants…

Q: Do I really need to take the SAT/ACT and submit a good score?

A: Yes! (Sorry) You do! Sure, schools are going test optional ((Harvard for another two years, UC test blind for the foreseeable future, and others will follow). This sounds like good news and for certain applicants, it is. Let’s say you’re a minority candidate from an undeserved community, getting test prep can be hard and expensive, so schools are more likely to give that applicant a pass. Conversely, another candidate attends (insert name of expensive prep/boarding school here) and has all of the options available to get great test prep and perhaps get an excellent score. Applicant #2 doesn’t like their score and elects to go “test optional.” This hurts them, in my opinion. Do whatever you can to take the test (no more than three times) and get a score you can submit. Showing them a slightly lower score is better for you and not submitting at all.