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Do colleges actually mean it when they say that they're test-optional, or would they secretly prefer that applicants submit their test scores after all? Are you at a disadvantage if you don't submit your scores?
The answer: test-optional means test-optional, truly. As Whitney Soule, Dean of Admissions at Bowdoin, recently told Inside Higher Ed, she and other admissions officers at the test-optional liberal arts college "don't wonder what's missing [when reading an application without test scores] because we have enough." Their research shows that test scores don't make a difference in terms of student success at the undergraduate level, so there's no reason for them to consider a student who submits scores any differently from one who chooses not to do so.
So, if you do not feel that your scores offer a fair reflection of your abilities, don't submit them to test-optional schools--and don't worry that you're making a mistake by not doing so!
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