Should I Take Advantage of Test-Optional Policies Despite Planning a Gap Year?

Helena Lopes/Pexels
I have a question about test-optional admissions and a gap year. I'm not a good test taker and my pre-ACT was only a 15 (I didn't get a chance to take the real one before COVID hit). I am a high school senior but I'm not doing applications now because I need to do a gap year first to earn the money to pay for college. I plan to apply next year but everyone keeps telling me to apply now to take advantage of the test-optional admission policies that are in place, and then to defer later when I get accepted. Is this acceptable? How does this work?
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