Private High School Entrance Exams - Truly Optional?

I have post-pandemic confusion about high school entrance exams. We understand that the HSPT will be required for Catholic schools. The confusion is with other private schools. We are being told by at least one private high school that they will not be considering the ISEE as part of the admission process, but yet it is still listed as "optional." Does "optional" really mean our son does not need to take the test? I would love to hear from anyone who is planning to take (or avoid!) these "optional" tests so I can understand the rationale. Thank you in advance!  

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My understanding, per college admission experience, about the "test optional" is that they do look at it.  This means that students with outstanding scores in ISEE will submit it, and those who do not submit scores might be assumed not having good scores.  Unless you are URM, it is better to take it and do well.  The only time when you do not need to take it is when they say they are "test blind".