College SAT’s

Jackson Feaster

“Standardized Test Close-Up” by biologycorner is marked with CC BY-NC 2.0.

Seniors are seriously wondering how college admissions will change as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, with many colleges in Washington state agreeing that the SAT and ACT will be optional, grades will be evaluated differently, and extracurricular activities and volunteer work will be considered.

The University of Washington has stated that SAT or ACT scores will not be considered unless an applicant is waitlisted with a score of 1400 or higher, and that it will continue to use its holistic application process, which considers factors such as GPA, class load, running start, extracurricular activities, and, most importantly, a personal statement essay that demonstrates personality.

“Really what we’re looking for is a student who is very multi-faceted and is good in a lot of areas,” said KaeBee Burns, an admissions counselor at the University of Washington. “The best way really as far as strategy to get into the University of Washington is to make sure if you’re going to be doing things that you do, do them well,” he added.

Similarly, test scores will not be used to determine whether students are accepted at Washington State University. “In order to treat applicants evenly in the admission process, SAT/ACT scores will not be considered as a factor in admission decisions,” stated Kara Baker, an admissions counselor. 

While it is unknown whether all Washington State institutions will continue to be test-optional, all colleges agree that it is critical that your personality shine through in your application, regardless of the year. With thousands of applications to review, counselors will be focusing more and more on what makes each student special, and having a memorable personal essay is critical to ensuring students get into their preferred college.