That is the question. Most colleges require applicants to provide test scores, either from ACT or SAT, which are used by admissions officers to supplement your high school academic record.  In recent years, several colleges have made standardized tests optional for admissions, leaving it up to the student whether they want to submit test scores.

So does that mean you should skip taking them?  No, because admission officers use the scores to create a cut-off range for admission and to measure how prepared you are for college.  It also helps you to take the tests because you will see how you rank on a national basis and can determine what areas you need to work on before you reach college-level coursework. 

Use the college materials or websites to determine which test a college requires or if the tests are optional.  From there, put the time and effort into test preparation to ensure you get the best results you can. There’s a high level of stress involved, especially the first time, so it’s a good idea to take the test at least twice.  You can throw out the lower scores and submit your best effort so all you have to lose is time spent studying.