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Episode 6: Applying Test Optional

December 28, 2020


Standardized tests are one way that colleges can learn more about an applicant — but they're no longer the make-or-break moments they once were. That's why some schools, including Bucknell, decided to make SAT and ACT scores optional when applying.

It's called a "test-optional" admissions policy, and it shifts the power away from the companies that make these standardized tests and back to where it belongs: in the hands of students themselves.

In this episode of College Admissions Insider, brought to you by Bucknell University, Brooke Thames and Bryan Wendell take a closer look at "test-optional" policies. Why do schools go test-optional? Does applying test-optional hurt an applicant's chances of being admitted? And if they're not requiring test scores, what do test-optional schools look for?

Our guest is Kevin Mathes, Bucknell's Dean of Admissions who spearheaded the University's shift to a test-optional policy back in 2019.

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Episode 6 Transcript