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ScholarMatch Guide to Standardized Testing

Step 1:Decide if testing is right for you

Test required

Test flexible

Test optional

Test free

Click each to learn more.

Most policies fall into the categories below

Due to COVID-19, many colleges and universities changed their test policies. Each campus has a different test policy.

List of Test Optional or Test Free Campuses

Other tools:

Check the admissions page of the college's website.

We recommend researching the test policy at each campus on your college list to determine if testing is right for you.

Test required

Test flexible

Test optional

Test free

You don't need to register for the SAT or ACT. Direct your focus towards other components of your application.

Consider if you're already planning to take International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement exams to determine if you want to add an additional test.

Research the college's average SAT and ACT scores. If you believe you can meet or exceed these, submitting test scores may benefit your application.

You'll need to take the ACT or the SAT or adjust your college list.

Using test policies to make your decision

No, I do not plan to test.

I'm not sure.

Yes, I plan to register for the SAT or ACT.

Do you plan to test?

Step 2:Decide which test you plan to take

Compare the SAT and ACT


You've decided to test. Now it's time to choose between the SAT or ACT. There are some key differences between each test.


Step 3:Register for the test you have chosen

Register for the ACT

Register for the SAT

Make sure the personal information you enter matches what is on your school or government identification.

Ask your school counselor for fee waiver codes. You may be able to register for free!

How to register

Step 4:Prepare for your test

ACT Academy

Khan Academy SAT Prep

You can and should retake the test you choose. Each time will help improve your score. We recommend up to three times. Most colleges consider only your highest score.

Preparing for your test

Step 5:Take your test and send your scores

Make sure you have printed your entry ticket. You will not be able to enter the testing site without it.

After you receive your scores, be sure to send them to the colleges on your list.

Make sure you have your school or government identification with you on test day.

SENDing your SAT SCores

Sending your ACT Scores

Taking your test

Milestone 3

Test scores are just one component of your college application. Whether you test or not, there are many ways to show colleges your unique strengths. Let ScholarMatch know your testing plans by completing Milestone 3.