Yes, the obvious is true: test scores matter enormously for college admission

By SAT ACT Test Prep

“Generally, nothing carries more weight in admissions than grades (plus strength of the high school curriculum) and ACT/SAT scores.”  Reading the recent NY Times article “What Colleges Want

College admissions craziness is upon Connecticut high school seniors now.  While we work with students on their essays and all parts of their college application, this message is really for high school sophomores and juniors.  You will hear mixed messages about test scores as you go through the college season.

Most every college will give some speech that starts with “We look at candidates holistically and test scores are just one of the factors….” Yes, anyone who knows the college game wants to say, but it is one giant factor, that outside of grades, is clearly the most predictive factor in terms of college admission.  Moreover, due to rampant grade inflation, test scores have unofficially become more important at many elite schools.  “Why?” I recently asked one of my admission contacts.  “Because everyone has an A average now” he responded.

While hyperbolic, this seems to be the case when I work with students applying to elite schools.

In separate posts, I’ll comment on the other huge advantage of test scores: merit aid money is highly tied to test scores.

Regardless, test scores matter for college admissions. While there are exceptions, don’t listen to those who tell you otherwise.