I get it: it's been a really tough few years and a lot of schools have gone test-optional. So the big question you're probably asking yourself now is, "Do I even need to take these exams?"
And the short answer is ... probably.
The longer answer is that you now (sort of) have the ability to be a bit more strategic in your test-taking decision.
Before COVID, you really had no choice. You had to take either the SAT or ACT (or, if you're like me, you did both for ...some reason. Don't be like me) and submit your scores along with the rest of your awesome application package.
But our new reality is that a LOT of schools have gone test-optional. That said, it's not really test optional if decisions come down to someone who didn't take the exams at all & someone who knocked the test out of the park. It's more like test-intelligently-applied.
So my recommendation is to take the tests and hold your scores. When you receive your grades, check them against schools you're applying to and make the decision then; based on the average scores in prior years, where do you fall?
If you don't score well enough for that school and you don't feel comfortable taking the tests again (I do recommend three times!), you can apply as though you never took them. You'll want to make sure the REST of your application and essays are in top form and incredibly competitive.
If you do score well, awesome! Send them along with the rest of your amazing application package. They can only help you.
Don't forget that with the ACT, there are lots of schools that accept the Superscore (the best of all your test scores), which is another great way to use strategy in your application process.