Here in Washington state, PSAT results came out a few weeks ago, and since then I have received a steady stream of new junior inquiries. (It happens like clockwork each year.) Usually the biggest stressor for families is what to do with these scores and how to move forward with a testing plan for the next year. But test optional (or even test blind!) is here to stay, which further complicates the testing question for many students. Here are a few of my favorite resources for those navigating the testing landscape and trying to figure out where to go from here.
**Applerouth: A helpful summary of what happened in 2021 and some predictions for this new application cycle.
**Akil Bello’s blog: This post is full of excellent information on how to decide on those next steps.
From where I stand, I do see testing coming back into play much faster than I had anticipated. Results from last year’s seniors (class of 2021) and early results so far this year (class of 2022) seem to show students with solid scores getting in over those who opt to apply without scores. (With all things equal-ish in other parts of the student profile, like GPA, rigor, resumes, etc.) Anecdotally, many college admission officers have shared that they are concerned about online learning, grade inflation, cheating, and/or shifts in grading policies during the pandemic year, so testing can be helpful to provide that extra data point and validation of a student’s academic ability. I don’t necessarily agree, but I do understand that perspective.
So, unfortunately there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to testing, and we haven’t magically transitioned to a test free world. But I hope the resources above with help as you and your family navigate those next steps!