To help you better navigate the standardized testing changes brought on by COVID-19, we’ve enhanced our test-optional recommendation engine to handle the growing list of schools going test-blind for the 2020-21 admission cycle.
What is test-blind admission?
Institutions that are “test-blind” will NEVER consider your test scores as part of your application, even if you choose to submit them. This in contrast to “test-optional” which means your test scores will be considered should you choose to submit them.
Entering 2020, less than five institutions in our coverage universe were test-blind. As of 10/7, that number is now up to 46 and includes institutions ranging from small privates like Caltech and Dickinson to large public universities like CUNY and the University of California.
How are test-blind schools handled in College Kickstart?
When you add a test-blind school to your list and run College Kickstart, we exclude test scores when assessing academic performance and rely solely on GPA and class rank.
For example, let’s say you’ve got a 33 ACT, 4.18 weighted GPA and top 5% class rank. Let’s also say that one of the schools on your list is Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (“SLO”).
When you run College Kickstart and go to the Details tab for SLO, here’s what you’ll see in the Academic Performance Assessment panel:
Test-blind institutions will be called out both in the Summary chart and the commentary below it. Because SLO is test-blind, the ACT score is excluded and only the GPA and rank are used to assess academic performance.
Now let’s look at another school in your list, Caltech.
Here we can see that no GPA is reported by Caltech and that 99 percent of the incoming class is ranked in the top 10%, so your class rank is inconclusive in terms of assessing academic performance. In these situations, we’ll default the assessment to the mid-50th percentile and give you a heads up to check with your counselor for verification/adjustment.
You'll also be able to view the option in the Summary View under the column called "Consider Test Optional."
That’s it! By introducing this capability we hope you’ll be able to better address the changes to standardized testing policies brought on by COVID-19.