High school seniors across America have two things on their minds: SAT scores and grade point averages. Both numbers are used by colleges to show a student’s academic development. Though important, SAT scores should not make or break your college acceptance.
According to the Princeton Review - a college admission services company offering test preparation services, tutoring, admissions resources, online courses and books - the SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to help them make admission decisions. It is a way for colleges and universities to compare all students who apply.
This can be a concern for students who have done well all four years of high school, maintained a high GPA, but don’t perform well on the SAT. In most states, taking the SATs is a requirement for high school graduation. Admission requirements from colleges and universities vary, but most do require SAT scores.
The Princeton Review website reports that the SAT was redesigned in March 2016 to make it more closely align with high school coursework. The test is scored on a 400-1600 point scale, with an average student score of 1038.
When it comes to the value of SATs in college admissions, “it really depends on the institution. Some schools place more value on an exam, while others may place more value on academic performance,” says Christopher Wright, Dean of Admission and Enrollment Management at MassArt.
SATs should not be viewed as a direct connection to future success. It is the hard work and the academic achievements one makes that should be the main consideration.
The thought of preparing for a four to five hour test with no syllabus to study from is nerve-wrecking. Not to mention the underlying pressure a student is in when taking the actual test.
The question is: are SATs really worth determining your college acceptance and future? A student’s competency and eligibility to apply to college shouldn’t rely on their SAT score, but rather their skill and achievements in four years of high school. There is a misconception about how well SATs evaluate a student's general knowledge.
“I see a future where there will be more schools shifting towards test-optional admissions, but there will always be colleges that use this tool in their evaluation of students,” stated Wright.
High school juniors are currently preparing for their upcoming SATs in May and June. Nelly Oriabure, a junior at New Mission High School, says, “I find the math parts super difficult and even though there is no failing or passing, I still feel like I have the chance to fail. I feel like it would be best not only for the students, but colleges as well, to judge students based on their progress, rather than a four hour exam.”