#037 ACT-SAT Test Optional Admission Data

Show Notes


Covid brought about the rapid growth of SAT and ACT test-optional for college admissions, which has been great for some students. As we move past Covid, should your teen be taking the tests now? My friend Brooke Hanson from Supertutor Media Inc and SupertutorTV says in most cases yes! In this episode she shares the data to demonstrate that among top selective colleges they are accepting more students who took a test, even when those schools loudly claim to be test-optional. Listen to the episode for the inside scoop on why this once test optional supporter has reconsidered the value of testing. Her students will be taking the test and you may just discover your teen should too. 


SupertutorTV’s Brooke Hanson has been a supporter of test-optional for many years, but recently changed her mind based on data discovered from school admissions reports and her own belief in the positive mindset shift that comes from test prep and testing. There are some high school students for whom testing will always be difficult, but she still encourages taking the tests for a number of reasons. Many teens were off the hook during the pandemic because testing centers were closed, yet a growing number of schools are requiring tests again.

First there are also data-driven reasons for testing. Did you know even some test-blind schools, those which wouldn’t normally look at anyone’s results, will factor in scores if you were in the top 50% of applicants? Many colleges that say they are test-optional are providing an admission advantage to those with test scores. I had a  previous student who unscientifically surveyed her peers in her Honors College and couldn’t find a single admitted student who applied without ACT or SAT scores at her test optional college.

Brooke gives a good reminder to consider your teen’s mindset. I think of testing like the clubs and activities from high school. They may be optional, but you wouldn’t go to school and skip the activities. Students want to show they can actually do the work of college and graduate. Maybe testing has become a circus, but with Brooke’s test prep and my college and career coaching, we want to set your student up to make informed decisions about their future so they don’t go in blindly or leave things to chance.


  • What made Brooke stop being in favor of test optional
  • ACT-SAT admission data from the top 200 schools
  • Who might benefit from test optional
  • How ACT-SAT testing and prep create a positive mindset shift 

Meet Our Guest

Brooke is the founder of SupertutorTV, a resource for high school students to achieve on their path to college and beyond. As a trained storyteller and former producer in Hollywood, Brooke helps students craft their stories for the college admissions process as an essay coach and mentor, and also teaches SAT and ACT prep. Her students are regularly admitted to top institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, and Yale and she’s been featured as an admissions expert by US News & World Report, CNN, Teen Vogue, and Yahoo! Finance.  SupertutorTV’s YouTube channel boasts more than 265K subscribers and 20 million views and its ACT math books have been among the top 20 selling ACT prep guides on Amazon. In addition to private tutoring, SupertutorTV also offers group pop up classes as well as a self paced online video based course for the SAT and ACT. Brooke graduated with honors from Stanford University with a BA in American Studies and also holds an MFA in Cinematic Arts Production from the University of Southern California. 

Listen on…the Flourish Site, Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon Music, Stitcher, or your favorite platform. 

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Links mentioned in this episode

Supertutor Media Inc. Youtube

Flourish Coaching on YouTube

College Data: Best and Worst Best for Test Optional

Supertutor Media on Insta/Twitter/Tiktok: @supertutortv 

National Test Prep Association Member Directory

Launch College & Career Clarity Course

Launch College and Career Clarity Facebook Community


[01:52] Introducing my guest and good friend, Brooke Hanson from SupertutorTV

[02:52] Brook shares testing data from the top 200 US schools

[06:14] Do students want test-optional? Should they take the tests anyway?

[09:57] Many students are facing challenges taking the tests at all

[11:38] Families want to game the system, whether test-required or test-optional

[13:03] Why most of her students will still take the test

[18:51] Colleges are also playing games and trying many different strategies

[23:50] What changed Brooke’s mind about whether schools should be test-optional?

[26:51] The bottom line: students should set goals and accomplish them

Access the episode transcript here.