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Does that make these tests altogether superfluous? Not at all. Most schools will require SAT or ACT scores for those applicants seeking to be considered for academic scholarships. The Common App gives you the ability to check off whether or not you want to apply as "test optional." It will also ask you whether or not you want to be considered for any merit based scholarships offered by the schools to which you are applying. Should you indicate "yes" to both of these Common App options, this means that college admissions representatives will not consider your scores as a factor of your acceptance, but can use your scores to determine whether or not you merit the offer of an academic scholarship.
There are currently 900+ colleges and universities in the U.S. that are test-optional and no longer require applicants to submit standardized test scores. In the last year alone, some two dozen schools have adopted a test-optional policy. It has been suggested that this is a result of the hype surrounding the "redesign" of the SAT just a year after its having undergone significant changes. One thing is for certain, needing these test scores, let alone scores in a certain range, is no longer a prerequisite for admission to many top-notch colleges and universities.
Understanding Standardized Tests