If the SAT is optional should I still take it?

The SAT has become test optional, should you still take it?

The SAT, or Scholastic Assessment Test, is a widely recognized standardized test for college admissions in the USA. It evaluates reading, writing and maths skills, to gauge a student’s readiness for college. It serves as a common metric allowing colleges to compare the academic abilities of applicants from diverse high school backgrounds.

Traditionally, the SAT was a mandatory requirement for most universities. However, many institutions have shifted to a test-optional model, granting students the choice of whether to include their scores in their application.

 Despite the test-optional trend, we recommend that certain students consider taking the SAT. Here are some compelling reasons to do so:

Competitive advantage:

While some universities have embraced test-optional policies, others still weigh standardized test scores in their admissions process. Submitting strong SAT scores can give you a competitive edge, particularly if your scores surpass the average for admitted students.

For example, Dartmouth College reported that 75% of admitted students for the Class of 2028 included test scores with their applications (source).

To explore schools that still require the SAT, check out this list.

Merit scholarships:

Standardized test scores often play a role in determining eligibility for merit-based scholarships. Taking the SAT and performing well can open up additional financial assistance opportunities based on your academic achievements.

Demonstrate Academic Strengths:

Standardized test scores can provide an additional data point for colleges to assess your academic strengths, especially if your high school grades may not fully reflect your capabilities or if your school has experienced grade inflation or deflation.

Specific Program Requirements:

Certain academic programs or majors may still require standardized test scores for admission. Checking the admission requirements for your intended program ensures you meet all criteria.

Future Changes:

Admissions policies can evolve, and a college or university may revert to a test-required stance. Having an SAT score ready can be advantageous in case the admissions landscape shifts.


Many colleges are moving away from placing heavy emphasis on standardized testing. They’re increasingly reviewing students holistically, considering various factors such as grades, extracurricular activities, essays and letters of recommendations. Despite this for certain students taking the SAT can still be very beneficial.

As an agency we’ll work with you to build the best profile possible for recruitment and/or admissions to university, and part of this is determining whether you should take the SAT or not.

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