By: Tara Thompson
Calling all Juniors and Seniors! This is the time to be wondering, should I take the SAT/ACT? Now, most UC and USC schools are making these tests optional and will not be considered as part of the application evaluation. When students apply to USC schools for the fall of 2022 or 2023, they will be asked to indicate whether they plan to submit their test scores or not. If they do, they will wait to receive them. Applicants will not be penalized or put at a disadvantage if they choose to not submit these scores. USC’s student selection has always been holistic, meaning they assess an applicant’s unique experiences alongside traditional measures of academic achievements, such as grades and test scores. They are confident in their ability to identify student potential using the totality of what’s presented to them instead of only looking at academics.
For home-schooled or international students it might be a good idea to submit an SAT or ACT. While international applicants will not be required to submit test scores, students whose first language is not English will still be required to submit test results from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System), Duolingo English Test or PTE Academic English proficiency examinations. As for students who have been home-schooled, the application process will also be test-optional, however, schools find it helpful to have work that is externally graded or examined, so they recommend submitting either SAT/ACT results, AP exam reports, transcripts from college courses or other accredited online schooling programs if possible.
But if you’re hoping for a scholarship don’t worry, the USC’s merit scholarship selection process is also holistic. Their scholarships are awarded based on all-around performance and have never awarded merit aid based on test scores or GPA cut-offs. The application deadline is December 1st and all applicants will be considered.