This is crunch time! What are your priorities now?
(Adapted from jeff Selingo’s blog)
- Without test scores, those colleges where the ACT/SAT played a role in admissions—and it always played less of a role than many students and parents thought—will lean into other parts of the application where students have more control over their destiny anyway.
- The high-school transcript is the most important piece of your application—yes, even more than test scores. While it’s too late to change your senior-year schedule, you can spend your time earning good grades in those classes.
- Essays. One place where applicants can stand out this year is in their essay. I found during my year inside admissions most essays are unfortunately mind-numbingly similar. Teenagers often focus on the same things: overcoming an athletic injury, dealing with anxiety, depression, or their sexuality, or discovering themselves on a trip, with a fill-in-the-blank country such as Guatemala or Thailand (more on essays below).
- Recommendations. Seniors might be worried that some of their teachers only got to know them during remote learning. That might be true of senior-year teachers, but most students have teachers to ask from previous years when they were in-person. This might also be the year to choose a teacher who may have had you more than one year in school to talk about your growth. Another tip from the book: also ask a teacher outside the subject you want to major in to show your breadth of interests.
Bottom line: Spend less time worrying about the ACT/SAT and more on your class work and completing your applications.