Standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT, are vital for colleges to assess students' academic abilities. These tests measure a student's knowledge and skills in various subject areas. As part of the evaluation process, colleges may consider test scores alongside other factors like GPA, extracurricular activities, and essays. The importance of standardized testing varies between institutions. Other colleges may have adopted test-optional or test-flexible policies, which gives applicants the freedom to decide whether to submit their test scores.