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SAT Scores, Not Needed Anymore For College

Meredith Tung Jingkids 2021-10-19

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Why should I pay to take the SAT if universities don’t require it? Why take the SAT if my GPA is already high? Harvard doesn’t require SAT scores anymore, so does that mean it’s no longer important?



As we move into summer vacation, some high school students might take advantage of their free time to prepare for the SAT (Standardised College Admissions test). Rumored to have a strong bearing on college acceptance – as it is a measurement of one’s academic performance in relation to others in the same cohort – students dedicate a massive amount of time and effort to doing well. However, in recent years, the number of universities requiring SAT scores to be included in a student’s transcript has decreased significantly. Likewise, after COVID-19 disrupted the usual means by which students take the test, even more universities have altered their policies, effectively making SAT scores optional.


What do top universities say?


The SAT isn’t terribly important.” Christoph Guttentag, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Duke University.


High test scores are not the primary test factor considered in the application process.” Jared Whittney, Executive Director of Admissions, California Institute of Technology.


…the SAT is not very important.” Marilyn McGrath, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Harvard University.


Testing is flawed…testing is biased…” Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Nonetheless…

SAT scores can boost your application’s value, and help administrators identify students who will succeed. Since most transcripts only give an overview of your academic records in the larger context, an internationally recognized standardized test can provide evidence of your achievements outside school expectations. SAT scores allow universities to understand you better in cases where your GPA does not give the full story. Depending on the school community you are involved in, your test performance can set you apart from peers. For example, if you are in an underrepresented school, earning a relatively high score can help administrators identify and recognize you. High SAT scores can also increase your chances of receiving scholarships and other financial aid. Given the benefits, it is still recommended to study and include an SAT score in transcripts to better showcase your abilities. But don’t stress it! Missing an SAT score is an obstacle that can be overcome through other means.


“The SATs and other similar tests, they’re useful to us in terms of understanding a student’s academic preparation”- Christoph Guttentag, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Duke University



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Images: Pexels, giphy

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