Normally, a standardized test score is required to run College Kickstart. In light of the uncertainty surrounding SAT/ACT testing this fall, we are temporarily relaxing this requirement so that students without test results can use College Kickstart with just a GPA or class rank.
When you run College Kickstart without a test score, a dialog box will appear indicating that we’ll attempt to assess academic performance based solely on GPA and/or class rank:
There are two things to keep in mind when running without test scores::
- Credentials may not be available to assess academic performance. A handful of colleges do not report GPA and/or class rank breakdowns in their class profiles nationally, so in the absence of SAT/ACT scores it won’t be possible to assess academic performance. In these situations, we will default to the mid-50th percentile and call it out in the Details tab for the institution under Academic Performance Assessment.
Schools falling into this category will also be notated with a “?” superscript in the List Check tab:
- We will attempt to assess academic performance for all schools, including ones that currently require standardized testing. Technically speaking, without a standardized test score a list should be limited to test-optional institutions, but given the possibility that COVID-19 may force all colleges to be test-optional this admissions cycle, we’ll attempt to assess academic performance anyway. Again, this will be called out in the Details tab under Academic Performance Assessment.
Some final thoughts:
- Use a test score whenever possible. While you now have the option to run College Kickstart without a test score, consider using a PSAT or PreACT as a proxy until actual SAT or ACT results have been received. This allows for a more complete assessment and ensures academic performance can be assessed.
- Include both unweighted and weighted GPA whenever possible. Colleges are inconsistent in how they report GPA--some use unweighted GPAs, others use weighted, and others will just combine everything together into a composite GPA. To maximize the chances that College Kickstart will be able to assess academic performance, enter both unweighted GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and weighted GPA (on a 5.0 scale).
- Consult with your counselor for the bigger picture. As always, be sure to consult with your counselor for the bigger picture.