College Admissions Decoded

The State of College Admissions Testing

Episode Notes

As more colleges become test-optional, admissions officers are tasked with defining the value of ACT/SAT tests—what they convey about students, and their level of importance on the admission process. As standardized testing policies shift with each incoming class of students, our guests today look at in which ways removing the exams promotes access and equity to the college admission process, whether students should test when it’s optional, and the long-term impacts of test-optional policies on college admission. 

Guests: David Hawkins, Chief Education and Policy Officer at NACAC; Twink Williams Burns, Strategic Advisor for Admission and Financial Aid Community Engagement at Williams College; Akil Bello, Senior Director of Advocacy and Advancement at Fair Test. 
Moderated by Eddie Pickett, Senior Associate Dean of Admissions and Director of Recruitment at Pomona College.

Episode Transcription

Eddie Pickett: Welcome, new and old friends, to the College Admissions Decoded podcast, an occasional series in the National Association for College Admission Counseling, or NACAC. NACAC is an association of more than 27,000 professionals at high school, colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations, as well as independent counselors who support and advise students and families through the college admission process. I'm your host, Eddie Pickett. My pronouns are he/him, and I'm a NACAC board member. In my day job, I'm the Senior Associate Dean of Admissions and Director of Recruitment at Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Today, I'm pleased to welcome three experts who will share their views on the current state of college admission testing and the impact of test-optional policies. There's so many truths and misconceptions swirling around this topic, and oftentimes students and families don't know who to trust. And so, we're here with three experts to bring their perspectives and how they can help you. My guests for this episode are David Hawkins, Chief Education and Policy Officer at NACAC. Welcome, David.

David Hawkins: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

Eddie Pickett: David and I spent a lot of time together, so I'm happy for him to join us here and to hear his perspectives because he has so much to share but doesn't always get the main stage, so we're going to put him on the main stage here. The second person is Twink Williams Burns, Strategic Advisor for Admission and Financial Aid Community Engagement at Williams College. Welcome, Twink.

Twink Williams: Thank you. Thanks for having me. I'm glad to be here with these superstars.

Eddie Pickett: And third, we have Akil Bello, the Senior Director of Advocacy and Advancement at Fair Test. Welcome, Akil.

Akil Bello: Ah, thank you.

Eddie Pickett: I'm excited about today's conversation because there's so many things swirling in this space, and so I'm going to kick the first one to Akil. Can you just talk about what's the current state of college admission testing?

Akil Bello: Sure. I think the best way to describe the current state of college admissions testing is in flux. Many of the things we know from five years ago have changed. Let's put a few numbers to it. Currently, and I ran these numbers in the summer, they might be a little bit different, but this was done right before GWI. test-optional, 83% of colleges are test-optional. 3.7% of colleges are test free, meaning they won't even look at tests. 8% of colleges require tests, only one state system last I checked, entirely requires tests, and that's the state of Florida. And 5.3% of colleges have not yet confirmed their policy for applicants in the class of 2024 and that was in the summer, so that might have shifted a little bit since then.

Eddie Pickett: Come on, college folks, we need to be better here. That should be a 0%, college folks.

Akil Bello: Yes, that should be 0%, but it's not. So that's where we are. I guess one of the things I like to do is look at submission rates for enrolled students because it gives us perspective. And so, I tallied up from 2018, just to go back pre-pandemic, the percentage of enrolled students across four-year institutions. So, I took out for-profits and I took out two-year institutions that submitted either SAT or ACT scores and I just averaged a percentage across all schools and added those together. So, 2018, 105% was the average submission rate of enrolled students. So basically, everybody sent scores. The reason it's above 100 is because some sent both SAT and ACT. In 2021, that number is 56%. So, there's a significant drop in the number of students enrolling in college and submitting test scores. So, you can get into college without test scores, which is very different than it used to be.

David Hawkins: And Akil, I would add, we at NACAC measure college's attribution of importance to various factors in the admission process each year. And for many, many years, students' grades, particularly in the college prep courses, but the body of work that students do in high school has always been the most important factor that colleges consider in admission. For the longest time, I'm talking 20 years here, standardized tests came in third in that list, so behind the college prep courses, behind the overall grades. We had seen that declining steadily over the years. We just looked at the data again post-pandemic, standardized tests dropped almost all the way to the bottom. So not only are colleges going test-optional or not only have they gone test-optional, the level of importance that test scores are receiving has plummeted, down below even things like extracurricular activities and essays. So, there's a shift in the data, and I think there's also a shift in the way in which tests are being used and considered as admission officers review applications.

Twink Williams:  I think that's exactly right, David. I think in my perspective as someone who spent nine years on the high school side as a school counselor and now another, I don't know, I'm dating myself now, seven or eight years on the college side, the question was always, what will the test look like this year, pre-pandemic, and will it be 1,600 or 2,400 for the scoring? What content will be tested? Will it be during the week or on a Saturday? There were always changes, but the question fundamentally was based around the fact that the test would be an important part of the process. We just needed to shift how the test would look each year. Now that we've all as colleges been forced to evaluate students without testing because of the pandemic, I think the question has fundamentally changed to, what value does the testing actually bring to the admission process? Which is I think why we would see that number that you just referenced plummet.

Akil Bello: That's an interesting question because to me I think many institutions aren't asking that question that way. They're asking how are we going to use the test, whether we're going to use the test, not let's be clear about what value it conveys. I think that's been one of the biggest problems with testing is a lack of clarity around what it meaningfully conveys.

Eddie Pickett: Absolutely agreed. And thinking about that, for decades, standardized tests like the SAT and ACT have been considered an essential part of the college admissions process, what we're basically talking about, right? But it's really difficult for some older generations, I'm a millennial personally, but for Gen X and millennial parents to understand why something that was so fundamental is now optional. So, what was your advice for these parents about this?

Akil Bello: I think it just makes for a simpler conversation now. I've been in test prep for 30 years. Before I moved into advocacy and other work around access and advocacy, I was in test prep. I still do tutoring. The question becomes not you have to do it, you have to prepare for it, it's required. It becomes, is this something that's going to give you value? And if you can't find value in it, then you don't have to do it. In California, it's real simple. If your goal is to apply to a public institution in California, cool, you do not pay me for test prep. If your goal is to apply to a private institution somewhere else, if you're..., in Florida and your goal is to apply to a public institution, you got to do it.

David Hawkins: Eddie, I am Generation X, and I grew up in a time when it felt like admission tests were the primary concern for colleges. In fact, as my own two children went through the process, I had to sit through counselor sessions, and counselors, bless their hearts, they're trying so hard, but you would hear parents in these meetings say, "I don't know why we need to worry about all these classes when colleges are just going to look at the test scores."

And having worked at NACAC for 23 years, I know that the story couldn't be further from the truth in that regard. And what I think is important for students and families to understand is that standardized tests never provided the kind of predictive value that colleges could really derive a lot of information about whether a student would succeed at the institution. So, I think what we have discovered and what students and families will now discover is that the connection between the test scores and success has never been as firm as everyone thought it was. It's really the body of work that you do in high school. So focus on those grades, that's the real key.

Twink Williams: I think I'm in what is scientifically called the X-ennial generation, right on the cusp, and I would just add to both of those things. I think we've also seen a shift in what colleges claim to value about their students, about their communities. This holistic admission banner is everywhere now in a way that it wasn't when we were applying to college, and I think that shows up a lot in the admission processes at most places. And so, colleges are looking to understand who students are in different ways than they did when we were applying to college. A lot of colleges have dropped interviews and counselor calls and legacies on the chopping block. There's all these different other ways that colleges are considering the ways to understand who students are and what they're bringing to the table that just weren't part of the conversation when millennials and Generation Xers and X-ennials like me were applying.

Eddie Pickett: Yeah, I mean, I sit in the admissions office now, and thinking about as we build a class, we're trying to build a community. And what you have done is not who you're going to be in college. And so, what you've done or your grades, your test scores, your extracurricular activities, that's not who you are. Who you are is your thoughts, your opinions, your philosophy. That's what you're bringing to a college campus. And so, as we talk about that whole holistic process, it's what are you bringing to our campus, not what you have done. Now, what you've done gives you merit in the process, but it's not what's going to show up on our college campus. And so, I think that's really important to keep in mind for the parents particularly and even for the students, that we're building an intentional community. We've touched on some of the things we've learned in the last three to four years. How have students benefited from these test-optional policies?

Akil Bello: There's a couple of things that we have to keep in mind. College admissions, many people want a formula. There are large Midwestern universities, I think New York City, have the chart-

Eddie Pickett: Iowa. The Region's Admissions Index.

Akil Bello: Yes.

Eddie Pickett: I used to love that as a college counselor. You have this GPA and grades and scores, you're in.

Akil Bello: And many families took that metric and believed that it was true of lots of other places. And I think that's one of the challenges for college admissions is that often you have individuals, newspapers who take a subset of the vast array of colleges in the US and turn it into all colleges. So we have to be careful about when we say colleges, because what the highly rejective colleges look at versus what the large publics look at may be different. I think that test-optional has given those who aren't strong testers a pathway to places that they might not have had before. It's given them the choice of whether to invest in test preparation and spend their time and energy there or to spend it elsewhere. And I think that that's positive if you can accept that, sure, that you might have less perceived certainty than you had before. I don't know if there was actual certainty, but there was certainly perceived certainty. And that's what families are dealing with.

Twink Williams: From the college side, like wearing my college hat, I hope that students feel invited to explore a broader range of colleges than they would have in the past if they just had their score and they were comparing it against the scores that they saw on the websites and crossing colleges off the list based on that. But when I put my high school counselor hat back on, I'm really concerned about how difficult it must be to navigate the answer to that question. Do I take this exam or do I not knowing that it's going to be used so differently at different places, and maybe I don't even really know how it's going to be used at different places? So I hope that there is some benefit in students feeling more empowered to look more places, but I do worry that it might actually make the process more stressful.

David Hawkins: That's a great point, Twink, about the stress involved. We in fact, just commissioned a Harris poll of students nationwide and 52% said that applying to college was more stressful than any academic experience that they had had in K-12 school. I don't think those of us who get into the admission profession, because we do care so much about students, want that to be the case. And so, the hope here is that taking one more sort of digression from your educational path off the table or blocking that digression off, the hope is that that will reduce some of the stress.

I went to a ninth-grade orientation night with my son back when he was in high school, and they had about 12 students who were seniors get up and they asked the question, "What would you tell yourself now if you were a freshman but had the experience of now being a senior?" And about eight of the 12 of them said, "I would've prepared more for the SAT," and I was in the back almost, I was going to fall out of my chair because I really felt for these kids. That should not be where you're putting your energy. And so, we've actually issued a report not too long ago that said every step that college has asked students to take that deviates from the academic process that they're in in high school adds another barrier. And that could apply to a lot of students, but particularly when we talk about equity. We want this to be as simple as we can make it for students.

Akil Bello: One thing that's weird to me about college is it feels like actually everything is optional. Testing has just been for a very long time, perceived to be the be all end all, and now it's probably being put where it belongs at best. Extracurriculars are optional. APs are optional. There are places that'll accept you with a GED. So, getting a high school diploma is optional, but the test is somehow required because that's the mark of all of your educational ability? So, making it optional makes sense. If you're a test lover, do it. If you're not, then don't bother with it. Just do high school right and then you can go from 12th to 13th grade.

Eddie Pickett: I love that thought of 13th grade. I worked at a community-based organization, and we'd have them from fourth through 13th grade. We keep them the summer after they've graduated. And so, let's just talk about this real quick and the idea of 12th to 13th or 12th to your first year in college, big deal, not a big deal. What are your thoughts?

David Hawkins: I think there is a lot of hype around the transition to college, and of course we have to keep in mind that not all students are going to go away to a residential college, but even if you do go away to a residential college, there's a step toward independence, and that's important and we want to recognize that. But when it comes to the academics, you are fundamentally moving to the next level up and “video games speak”, since I'm a gamer myself, you've leveled up. Congratulations.

Twink Williams: I was going to say, I think that the fundamental assumption there though is that not only are the students from seventh grade to eighth grade who prepared in seventh grade to move to eighth grade, and once you get to eighth grade, there'll be support to make sure that you're successful there. I don't think that same assumption exists from high school to college. I don't think that K through 12 education in America necessarily requires students to be prepared for the next step into college. And I don't think that American colleges and universities necessarily see it as their responsibility to support every student in succeeding once they come to their campuses.

Akil Bello: As somebody who's been in testing for so long, when the conversation comes to testing, testing solves none of that. So, it's like we're looking at the wrong thing to solve it. To a certain extent, you can say it's a proxy for wealth, therefore, higher test scores, those who have the resources to support themselves to have the family support when they take that step is identified by the test because the test largely correlates with wealth. So, I don't think the test is what some people call a wealth test except for its proxy for who's been able to prepare themselves to succeed in that weird social way, which I think more and more colleges are recognizing. It's very strange when people talk about testing and graduation rates because your graduation from college four or five, six years later is predicated on the test you took in 11th grade. How is that a logical thing at all that we can ever claim?

Eddie Pickett: Yeah, and we're dancing around this topic right now. I feel like we're playing Double Dutch with equity right now. We've kind of tiptoed into the equity space, so let's just address it. How do test-optional policies address inequities and help students who lack access to resources like test preparation services?

David Hawkins: I think at a high level, let's start there. I said earlier that we want to try to minimize the divergences from the body of work that a student creates while they're in high school. And for many, many years, preparing for and taking these tests has represented a significant deviation from that course. And so again, at a high level, what we hope is that by removing one of those barriers, we take a step towards improving equity. The important thing to note, and I think my co-panelists here will talk about this a little bit, is that it is not a silver bullet. There are no such things in college admission when it comes to equity. And test-optional alone will not get you to where you want to go. It has to be done in combination with many other things, and it has to be done well so that students will understand what your policies are.

Akil Bello: I like how you answered that because I think that that's the right framing. There are no silver bullets. Full stop. America's still going to America, right?

Twink Williams: It sure is.

David Hawkins: That's ultimately what it is. You can't go, oh, 12 years of segregation and underfunded schools and all that. You know what will fix it? Let's get rid of the one test. It's not fixing it. It does remove a hurdle, but it's not fixing anything. I think that some institutions have done a good job of saying, "In addition to test-optional, we're going to do other things." I love what Williams did. I like Chicago's announcement before the pandemic. Chicago said, "We're going test-optional, and here's a ton of money to help low-income underrepresented students." That kind of makes sense because you know what I think is probably more predictive of your performance first year than a test? Whether you can afford to not work eight hours, 20 hours a week or not. So, I think equity is putting all the responsibility of solving America's problems of equity on a test is ridiculous.

Twink Williams: I think that's exactly right. I think for a long time the conversation has revolved around test-optional being a very big driver of inequity, which it is, don't get me wrong. But I also think that seeing it as the silver bullet or the sort of solution to the inequity problems with both access and enrollment, and once students get to campus, the ways in which they either succeed or don't is really shortsighted. If that were the case, then three years into test-optional right now, we would see drastically different college campuses, and we don't see that nationally.

I do think we see some good examples of how removing the exams has helped to promote access and equity. We do see applications at Williams, we saw applications jump, and I know a lot of peer institutions saw that as well. We saw it jump across the board, but when we sort of dig down into who is submitting exams and who is not, it's around 70% of our first-generation applicants do not submit an exam. We see really big racial disparities in who is submitting exams and who is not. In fact, there's a 30-point difference between white students and Asian-American students submitting exams versus black students and Latina students submitting exams with the black and Latina students not submitting at far higher rates. And so again, I hope that there are ways that those students are feeling more empowered in the process, but unfortunately, we just don't see significantly higher enrollments.

Eddie Pickett: I would say at Pomona, we actually see something pretty similar in who's submitting and who isn't. I think there's a lot of data out there and national data as well that shows the disparities between first generation college students and students who have parents who have master's degrees. For first gen students, we see them submitting tests at a lot lower of a clip than their non first gen peers, but that's okay. There's nothing you need to worry about if you want to submit or you don't submit. What's your advice to students on submitting their testing? Point blank, what would you say?

Akil Bello: If it's good, send it. That's the simple answer, which means you probably have to take at least the practice test and have some sense of where you are. Basically, in terms of college admissions, your goal is to promote yourself, send the things that make you look good. I'm trying to figure out how to send a video of my senior cooking. The boy can cook. He's taken over cooking in our house because he's really that good.

Eddie Pickett: He can come to my house anytime.

Akil Bello: Exactly. So ultimately speaking, especially at the highly rejective places, they encourage students to tell the full story of the skills and abilities they have. If you are a testing savant, you want to submit your test. If you are terrible at testing, you now have the option not to submit. Just like you're not going to send that one AP score, let's not send that 300 SAT score. But it shouldn't preclude you from applying, and for a long time, it has. There's three things I tell parents, decide whether you're going to prep, decide whether you're going to take it, decide whether you're going to submit it, and all three of those should be separate decisions.

David Hawkins: First and foremost, you want to look at the colleges you're applying to. Obviously, you may not have decided before you have the option to take your first test, but one of the things that's very important is to examine the colleges that you're interested in and see what they say, see what their policies are. That's always a good first step. My first child, my son, took a test because one of his institutions required it, so we took it. None of the institutions my daughter applied to required the test, so she didn't take it at all. And so, I do think combined with Akil's advice, just going into it clear-eyed and understanding that it is your body of work in school that counts the most. So don't be scared if you don't want to take the test or if you feel like you can't or if there are other things that get in your way. In a test-optional environment, you do not have to submit your tests and you don't have to worry about it. Your grades are the very most important thing in the college admission process.

Twink Williams: The only asterisk I would add is if financial aid or merit scholarships are tied to scores at all to definitely look at that when you're doing the research that David mentioned.

Akil Bello: And not as many scholarships as we are led to believe by popular media are tied to test scores. I will also add the asterisks, make sure it's not the one you want. If you're applying to college X and they have a full ride that's tied to a test score, even though they're test form mission, then yeah, you probably want to do it. If you haven't identified your colleges, it's hard to do deep dive research unless you're spending a lot of time looking at all the colleges. But if you have some sense of your college, you have some sense of the state you're in, the public institutions, are there scholarships tied to it? Find that stuff out. But for the most part, if it's optional for admissions, then you know at least for that part of the process, you can make the decision of whether you want to submit that or not based on whether you're willing and able to take the work to prepare for it or not.

Eddie Pickett: Yeah, I always tell students it's good to take it. You don't always have to send it. It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it with an asterisk that if this is going to cause a lot of anxiety in your life, maybe this test isn't what you need to be doing because your health sanity and mental stability is way more important than some test score. The second thing now is sitting on the admission side, it's like, hey, look at the middle 50%. If you're in it or above it, that's when you should be thinking about maybe I will submit. If you're not, don't send it.

Akil Bello: I'll also throw out there, because none of y'all can say it, since you have official capacities that require you to be more delicate than I am, don't listen to test prep people, don't listen to test prep companies, especially those that are raising the bar on the importance of the test. Two admissions officers are on this podcast saying, "No, we're not trying to read into your soul and debate your rationale for taking a test or not," but the test prep company is like, "Oh, no, no, no, no, no. They're going to look at the absence of a test score as you failed in life." Don't listen to those who financially benefit from the advice they give you steering you towards their products.

Eddie Pickett: And now we've talked about the students. Let's switch it just a little bit to parents. What's your advice for parents as they help their students navigate this test-optional landscape?

David Hawkins: We want parents to be involved. There's a lot of students who could use some help from their families. However, take a step back.

Twink Williams: I would say number one, don't call the colleges on your students' behalf. Really empower your student. Let your students take the lead and then figure out how you can be helpful with respect to maybe doing some of the research. So once they've identified some colleges that they're interested in, you can do the research on what the test-optional policy is. You can do the footwork without calling the college itself and making sure that, what ways can you help your student get the information that they need to make their decision instead of pushing them towards a specific decision or making the decision for them?

Akil Bello: I have a senior right now, so I will speak from the perspective of somebody who does this for a living and who is a parent. It is really hard. They're kids. They're not going to listen to you in the way you want them to listen to you. Your job is to figure out how you can best steer, guide, support, and I think that that's the tough part, especially because there's a lot of unknowns throughout the process. So it's the ability to steer, guide, and support in whatever ways you're able.

Eddie Pickett: For the last question on the podcast, we're going to look into the future. None of us has the actual ability to predict the future, but just thinking about what we are seeing now and what could potentially be happening, I'm going to throw one question to each view, and it starts similarly, it's just a different population in essence. And so, the question is, what will be the long-term impact of these testing policies and strategies on college admissions? And I'll go that one to David, on the testing industry that will go to Akil, and on students and that one will go to Twink.

David Hawkins: The future of standardized testing in college admission and for admission offices has been fundamentally redesigned by the pandemic. We were seeing a steady increase of the number of colleges that were going test-optional prior to the pandemic, but after the pandemic, the tide completely turned and test-optional admission is here to stay. That is something that we will see now and into the future. For admission offices, it is now much more about finding what role tests can play in admission, where they fit, if they fit, and for colleges more generally, how they're going to use them for things like scholarships and placement and other things. So, for the admission profession itself, it's going to be one of discovery. There's a lot of research going on right now at colleges and universities to try to figure out how are our new processes working and what does the future look like now that we have crossed that threshold into test-optional admission.

Eddie Pickett: David, I also hear that NACAC is going to be joining this space too. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?

David Hawkins: Yeah. Thank you, Eddie. The fact that we are now in a period of such change means that there are a lot of people with a lot of questions and not a lot of answers. And so, our organization is going to develop a center for re-imagining college admission, and we want to lead our field, but also be led by our field by the people who are doing the research to figure out what is the future, how do we handle the presence or absence of tests in our environment? And our hope is that we continually examine and reexamine how we do college admission in our country and how we can improve it to help make sure that more students have improved access over time. So, we're really looking forward to that and hope to have a lot of good research-based discussions, including involving a lot of student voices in the future.

Eddie Pickett: And David's being modest, he's actually the person who everything that center is going to do reports up through David. So, thank you for the work that you're about to do.

David Hawkins: Thank you.

Eddie Pickett: We appreciate it.

Akil Bello: What's interesting is putting on my Nostradamus hat and looking at the future for the testing industry. I think there's a few different ways to look at it. Tests will change. You've already seen it with the SAT. They remodeled it to do the new mini digital SAT coming up shortly. The two-hour digital test that is exactly equivalent to the three-hour paper test. ACT has announced that they're going to be doing a digital thing just like the SAT. GMAT cut itself in half, GRE cut itself in half. Everybody is, the whole testing industry is upgrading, right, because it makes sense to things to go digital. But testing is changing. It's no longer the same test that it used to be. I also think the marketing of testing is changing, which I think is bad. Modernizing test makes sense. Overselling them about what they measure is what concerns me.

So, I think that schools, students, families have to be careful about the increasingly aggressive marketing that are coming from those who create test and sell them and tell you that based on a two-hour bubble test you took in 11th grade, we're going to determine your readiness for a career. That's a huge overreach, right? So, what I see is the testing industry trying to get more creative about how it keeps itself alive.

Those who help prepare students for test may also have to find ways to justify their relevance. And we have to be careful about that too, because those places will often oversell the data. Look, these kids with a test score always get into Harvard. See? And we have to be careful about that marketing. So, I think it's going to be a little bit tougher for families to have to sort through some of the noise of those who benefit from keeping the testing industry afloat while the testing industry struggles to figure out where its place is, how big is it going to be, how many people are going to be taking tests? That's going to take a little while to shake out. Are all the tests that currently exist going to survive? And I could see a world where we don't have as many tests as we currently do, but they'll be around in some way, shape, or form.

Eddie Pickett: To wrap us up, the impact on students.

Twink Williams: Students, the stakeholders, we are all here for. I think that students will have to navigate a lot of noise. I do think that it will be, at least for a time, a little bit more difficult to keep track of all the different pathways and requirements in their college applications. But ultimately, in 10 years’ time, I'm hopeful that we'll be able to see totally new methods for students gaining admission to colleges. We're already seeing some creative solutions coming out of lots of different colleges like shout out to Ashley Polly for figuring out ways to ensure that even students who don't have access to calculus in high school are able to earn admission to Caltech. Princeton just announced their community college transfer program. I think we're going to see lots of colleges experimenting with different ways of evaluating students that might not look like the common application or any application.

Maybe there'll be video involved, maybe it will go back to more live stuff. Who knows? I'm excited for the ways that we, hopefully as a field, speaking as a college admission officer, can bring more equity to the opportunities that students have to gain access to our communities. And I hope that we use this moment to ensure that students can really shine in the ways that are best for them. I think the trick will be that the folks directly supporting students like their families and their school counselors and maybe their CBOs will have to be that frontline of defense to gather the information about what each institution is asking for moving forward.

Eddie Pickett: We'll stop it at that because at the end of the day, students, we work for you. We are here to serve and to help you. And so unfortunately, that's all the time we have. But I want to say thank you to David, to Akil, and to Twink for joining us on the podcast. And I want to thank you, our audience, for being here and listening.

College Admissions Decoded is a podcast from NACAC, the National Association for College Admission Counseling. It is produced by Phantom Center Media and Entertainment. Kojin Tashiro produced this episode. If you'd like to learn more about NACAC's mission and the college admission process, visit our website at That's N-A-C-A-C-N-E-T.O-R-G. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review and rate us on your favorite podcast app. See you next time on College Admissions Decoded.


CITATION: National Association for College Admission Counseling. “

The State of College Admissions Testing” NACAC College Admissions Decoded, 

National Association for College Admissions Counseling, November 30, 2023.