Do Test Scores Matter For Scholarship Applications?

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Written by Shefali Onawale

Someone, somewhere said a thing...and now we remember it because they probably wrote it down! She used to write for herself and now writes to help others. Writing has brought her a long way and she wishes to walk some more, preferably making sojourns along the way.

August 29, 2021

There are more than 1.7 million private scholarships and fellowships worth more than $7.4 billion, so there are enough scholarships to go around. However, applying for scholarships may be a bit difficult and time-consuming at times. Scholarship information is frequently unclear and dispersed, making it difficult for students to apply. Students have questions such as: Do test scores matter for scholarships applications? If so, what is the cut-off score for these tests? What are the many methods to get a scholarship and how do you go about getting one?

Scholarships are more like sponsorships or gifts, which means they do not have to be repaid. This makes scholarships a very attractive form of student finance when compared to other alternatives like student loans. Sure, there’s always fierce competition when free money is involved, which is why some students are discouraged from applying for scholarships. Also, the whole scholarship search and application process can be quite tedious. UniScholarz, an online scholarship marketplace, makes identifying and applying for scholarships much easier!

Before we dive into understanding if test scores matter for scholarship applications, let us first find out the types of scholarships. The weightage of test scores depend highly on the type of scholarship you are applying for.

What Are The Types Of Scholarships? 

Need Based Scholarships 

It is fairly usual to apply for economic scholarships based on financial necessity. These grants are only available to people who can demonstrate financial hardship. The total quantity of money they make or have access to isn’t a major consideration. It usually boils down to whether or not they will be able to afford to attend the institution to which they have been admitted. 

List of the most popular need based scholarships:

Merit Based Scholarships 

There are numerous academic scholarships available for those who have excelled in school. You can apply for a merit-based scholarship to universities that accept it if you feel you stand out from the crowd. It is not necessary to establish financial need in this case. These scholarships may cover all or part of the tuition, as well as accommodation and course supplies. It might possibly simply be a small portion of the schooling. The scope of a scholarship is determined by its terms and conditions as well as its offers. It might last a semester or the entirety of your degree programme. It will, however, always be subject to conditions, the majority of which will be related to your grade point average (GPA). In this case you must score a high GPA to be considered for merit scholarships.

List of the most popular merit based scholarships: 

  • Fulbright Scholarships
  • University Scholarships
  • STEM Scholarships
  • Straight A Scholarship
  • AXA Achievement Scholarship

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Test Scholarships 

Before graduating from high school, the majority of students take a variety of examinations. If you live in the United States, you will almost certainly take the PSAT in your junior or sophomore year (also called the NMSQT). This test not only prepares kids for the SATs, but it also helps them qualify for scholarships. Test scholarships also include scholarships based on Statement of Purpose (SOP), Essay scholarships, awards based on competitions and more. 

Do Test Scores Matter For Scholarship Applications

The most prominent example of a test-based scholarship is the Albert Einstein Scholarship Test Program. Industry professionals with the All India Council For Technical Skill Development (AICTSD) work together with a common goal. This goal is to improve the level of technical skills and create technological leaders at academic levels throughout the country. The Albert Einstein International Scholarship Test  is a part of the mission led by AICTSD to achieve this goal. This is a prestigious test based international scholarship to help students gain confidence and showcase their talent.

Some more popular test based scholarships include: 

  • Selection Process For Albert Einstein International Scholarship Test 
  • Berows  International Scholarship Test
  • National Talent Search Examination
  • Global Study Awards 

Each year about 3.5 million students take such tests. Most of these tests such as the PSAT measure a candidate’s critical reading skills, math ability, and writing skills. It is referred to as the PSAT because it is the preliminary test associated with taking the SAT. 

Country Specific Scholarships 

Most students prefer opting for scholarships if they want to fund their education abroad. In such cases, depending on the country you want to study in, you may research some country specific scholarships. These scholarships highly depend on the diplomatic relations between the host country and the home country. There may be scholarships available specifically for your country. For example, if the United States wants more students from Brazil to study in the USA, there are scholarships available specifically for Brazilian students. There are many scholarships available based on the region, continent and the economic status of countries. For example, one of the most popular country specific scholarships is awards for students from developing countries.

In Conclusion.. Do Test Scores Matter For College Applications?


The marks you score in different tests or your college GPA will determine your scholarship candidature depending on the type of scholarship you are applying for. More than test scores, the admission panel for various colleges and organisations that offer scholarships look out for promising candidates that have the potential of doing well in academics. For such institutions, awards and grants are more like investments in the candidate’s future. So, even if you are unable to score well in tests but do have a strong extracurricular background, you may be eligible for several scholarships that do not give a lot of weightage to test scores for scholarship applications. 

Thank you for reading this blog on Do Test Scores Matter For Scholarship Applications? If you’d like to read more, check out these blogs:

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