Does going test optional make it easier to get in? And what to do?
In our opinion, no. As it is, getting admitted is going from difficult to very, very difficult. Perversely, the test optional movement may have contributed to that phenomenon, by significantly increasing the number of applications. In turn, acceptance rates plummet since the number of available spots did not increase accordingly (if at all). Low acceptance rates make elite colleges look more exclusive and it is easy to see how the cycle of increasing difficulty keeps going. One could argue that the elite colleges are the big winners. We believe that applicants should take the ACT (skip the essay) and the SAT, especially now that all testing centers are back in operation. Otherwise, a very compelling substitute narrative would be required.