Opinion: Is the SAT Really All That Important?


Sophie Boyd '24, Contributing Writer

Especially as a junior, the SAT continues to creep up on me and truth be told, causes panic. It’s always in the back of my mind, yet I have too many questions: Do I need a tutor? Is it even worth it to get one? How do I study? What about practice tests? You’d think I would know more after my two, older siblings have already gone through this process; however, their experiences have slipped away from me.

Compared to others, I feel so ill prepared for a test that is supposed to be a main deciding factor in my admission to a college. Then again, how can all of my knowledge possibly be compiled into just 1600 points or 36 with the ACT?

It doesn’t seem like the test accurately reflects how smart someone is or isn’t. There are many other aspects of students’ applications that can make up for where a high SAT score may be lacking. It’s difficult to really balance the test on the right scale. For instance, someone with a really low GPA may do well on the SAT, while someone with a high one may do poorly. Another aspect could be that someone doesn’t have access or money for a tutor which could affect their score since they don’t have that extra support. Ultimately, I think it really comes down to how well someone is at taking standardized tests.

Moreover, many schools are not requiring test scores to be submitted anymore; they’re more just an added bonus people are hoping to have on their application. Specifically, as of 2018, the University of Chicago made the tests an optional aspect when applying and they have seen a record enrollment in first-generation and low-income students, as well as veterans. Without this factor of test scores, there is both more diversity of applicants and a more level playing field for students. UChicago is not the only college to make scores optional: one in four institutions no longer have them as a requirement to apply.

Overall, the SAT is still a prominent factor in college applications, but it’s not always an accurate one. I think the test includes unfair components and evaluation from schools that should be changed or at least acknowledged. This one test should not be a deal-breaker for continuing education after high school.