William Peace University offers a Test Optional Approach to the Application Process

November 20, 2020
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What does Test Optional mean and why is it important? 

Taking the ACT or SAT has long been required for high school students’ college admissions. For some, they begin preparing their freshman year knowing they will take the ACT or SAT several times to ensure optimum results for college. For others, it ends up being a constant stressor as they may not test well with standardized measures. Either way, taking the tests have not been optional.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many institutions started  implementing a test optional approach for various reasons. Some have shown data demonstrating that ACT/SAT scores do not accurately reflect a student’s academic performance and that there is inherent income and racial or ethnic bias in the tests. Avoiding the one-size-fits-all approach to admissions can enhance opportunities for institutions in securing more diverse representation in its students. In addition, having a more holistic approach to admissions can provide better outcomes for those students who just don’t test well.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of many ACT/SAT testing dates, elevating the need for a test optional approach. While the origination came prior to this year, the pandemic has resulted in a wider need to consider test optional for applications. The lack of testing dates reduces the opportunity for  many students to retake the test to improve upon their scores with a second or third examination, and this limitation can easily add stress to the enrollment process.

The option

With the test optional approach, students who have performed well on ACT or SAT can submit their scores. For students who either have not had the opportunity to take the tests or are challenged by standardized tests, they can instead provide additional support of their character and academic achievements.

At William Peace University, the test optional approach allows us to be more holistic in our assessment of a student and to give them the choice of whether their ACT/SAT scores are included in this evaluation. We want students to understand that the application process does not define them, rather they define the process based on what they submit.

We believe that a student is more than a test score 

Often, well-qualified students who are otherwise ideal candidates to WPU may not consider applying due to low ACT/SAT scores. By eliminating this requirement and giving the option, the student drives the process through a wider lens. Test optional offers an opportunity for students to provide a more complete picture of themselves and their talents that test scores may miss.

The choice is yours

If you are a student who is thinking about applying to WPU, know that the test optional approach allows you to make the choice that best suits your needs. Not often are you given the opportunity to pick and choose when it comes to the application process. Celebrate this opportunity and highlight your accomplishments in the best way possible.

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The Top 5 Reasons Test Optional is a Benefit to Students

For those students who are applying at an institution that offers test optional, like William Peace University, the benefits are invaluable.

5 Reason to chose test optional - William Peace University offers a Test Optional Approach to the Application ProcessYou get to highlight your own achievements, accolades and accomplishments in more creative and authentic ways
4 Reason to chose test optional - William Peace University offers a Test Optional Approach to the Application ProcessThis creates an even playing field for all students.  Every student is more than a test score and how a student performs day-in and day-out in the classroom is as important as how they perform on a standardized test.
3 Reason to chose test optional - William Peace University offers a Test Optional Approach to the Application Process If you don’t submit your ACT/SAT scores, you have one less thing to submit (to do!)
2 Reason to chose test optional - William Peace University offers a Test Optional Approach to the Application Process If you have had the opportunity to take the ACT/SAT and did well, you can submit your scores and highlight your accomplishments
1 Reason to chose test optional - William Peace University offers a Test Optional Approach to the Application Process Having the option to make a choice that best fits your needs is invaluable!