Simply stated, pivot to the ACT.
First, it is true that most colleges and universities for 2021 are “test optional” for admissions due to a variety of factors including the difficulty in obtaining access to the SAT and ACT. But as I’ve explained here , here, and here, “test optional” doesn’t mean slack on submitting good scores if you have them or can achieve them – especially at more selective institutions or when merit-based financial assistance is on the line.
Second, the ACT, although a little different and scored on a different scale, is every bit as accepted for admissions as the SAT.
Third, the College Board has been uneven at best in responding to the challenges evoked around the country by this pandemic. The ACT organization has been much more reliable and responsive in getting testing available.
Indeed, while students around the South Sound are scrambling, and in many instances, traveling out of town, to find a SAT sitting, the ACT was just offered last Saturday (10/10) at the Olympia Red Lion, and is again this upcoming Saturday (10/24). While it’s too late to register for those tests, the next one coming is December 12.
Seniors: Register for the December 12 ACT. The score may not come back before your application is due; but call the admissions office at the college or university you are interested in and ask for an extension of time in which to supplement your application with a score.
(If you prefer the SAT, search what cities or towns are offering it. I’ve had students travel as far away as Idaho, Oregon, and even Alaska to take the SAT because it has not been reliably offered locally.)
Juniors: Begin preparing now and sign up for the December 12th or the February ACT exams. Give yourself time and options by taking the test earlier than you might have otherwise done. Remember, achieving one’s highest and most competitive exam score can often involve taking it more than once.
My next test prep offering: To prepare for the December 12th ACT, my ACT prep course begins 11/4. Click here for more information on exam prep classes or contact me here, or by text or e-mail below, to register.