Running College Kickstart without a standardized test score

    While a standardized test score is typically required to run College Kickstart, we have relaxed this requirement in light of the uncertainty surrounding SAT/ACT testing due to COVID-19. Now students without test results will be able to use College Kickstart with just a GPA or their 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 is not possible to assess academic performance. In these situations, we will default to the mid-50th percentile and make a note 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 will still attempt to assess academic performance. Again, this case will be noted 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 the actual SAT or ACT results have been received. This allows for a more complete analysis and ensures that 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 GPAs, 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.


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