Many students would like to skip the testing aspect of the college admissions process.
This is understandable. Preparing for and taking a test such as the ACT or SAT is an anxiety-inducing experience. On top of that, there are doubts that either test accurately measures a student’s abilities. (If you’ve taken either test and received a score below your usual standards, you might feel strongly about this.)
If you wish to bypass both the ACT and SAT, the good news is that a growing number of colleges have “test optional” admissions policies. Such schools do not require applicants to take either test (however, they might require applicants to take other standardized tests, for example a certain number of SAT Subject Tests).
If you’ve already identified schools to which you might like to apply, you should contact them and ask if they’re “test optional.”
If you’re still early in your college search, you’ll probably be able to find several good-fit schools solely among the ones that are test optional. However, not taking the ACT or SAT will limit your options. (According to Fairtest.org, about three-quarters of U.S. colleges still require either the ACT or SAT.) My opinion is that it’s better to try to do as well as you can on one test or the other. If you’re unhappy with your scores, you won’t have to submit them to the test-optional colleges you identify.