The State University of New York Board of Trustees recently affirmed the SUNY admissions policy regarding optional submission of SAT and ACT scores, which has triggered a spate of inflammatory articles suggesting that SUNY has adopted the same testing policy as the University of California system. That is absolutely false. Test optional is definitely not the same as test blind or test free.
For the sake of clarity, here is SUNY’s testing policy with relevant parts bolded:
SUNY has temporarily [now permanently] suspended SAT/ACT testing requirements for students applying for admission to a SUNY bachelor’s degree-granting college. You may now decide whether or not to include your scores for admission consideration at each college to which you apply.
If you believe your scores are an accurate representation of your ability, SUNY colleges can consider them along with all other materials in your application file. If you think your scores do not represent your abilities, SUNY colleges can holistically evaluate your application without considering them. Please consult your school counselor or advisor if you are unsure about what to do.
In some instances, however, test scores may still be required. Admission to select programs, consideration for some merit scholarships, and NCAA eligibility for Division I student-athletes may require test scores. International students, who are non-native English speakers and whose primary language of instruction in high school was not English, are required to demonstrate English proficiency by submitting scores from SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE.
You will have an opportunity to check “Yes” or “No” when you apply for admission. Although you cannot change your preference online once your application has been submitted, you may contact the Office of Admissions at the colleges to which you have applied to request adjustments.
Admissions requirements remain in flux, and the SUNY policy will certainly continue to change both in the short and long term. Currently, the recommendation of the Board of Trustees is for campuses to suspend the undergraduate admissions requirement to submit SAT and ACT scores be continued prospectively, but each campus still has agency to establish their requirements. Furthermore, students may still submit standardized test scores if available. Don’t make the mistake of applying test optional if test scores can help your chances of admission at the school of your choice.