You took the SAT, so Now What?


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In this file photo, SAT preparation books are seen on a shelf at A Clean Well Lighted Place For Books bookstore August 26, 2003 in San Francisco. The University of California must immediately suspend all use of SAT and ACT test scores for admissions and scholarship decisions under a preliminary injunction issued by an Alameda County Superior Court judge.

Samantha Gitlin, Managing Editor

How does your whole school career come down to one test? 

Across the country students prepare to apply to college by taking one of two exams: the SAT or the ACT. Both created by the college board, the exams help determine if colleges should admit you. The test is either taken during your Junior or Senior year, and for the occasional over achiever, sophomore year. Although these exams are a good way to test what you have learned, they put too much pressure on students. 

Alongside school, many students participate in SAT tutoring outside of school. This causes additional stress and homework. It takes away from school and extracurriculars. Although it prepares students for the exam, it requires several hours of work a week. The time given up is not worth the few extra points. It helps with applying to college, but that’s about it.

Stress is a key factor of the SAT. Nobody is able to take a test without stress, especially one that matters tremendously. The stress put on students is not healthy and can actually make them perform worse, causing a bad cycle. Why should a student need to feel this much stress for one test? There is no reason and that’s the point. Students’ whole school career should not be based on one test.

Since the pandemic several schools have given students the choice on sending test scores. This means they base students on their grades, extracurriculars, and essays. These are all things students work on over a long period instead of just four hours (like the SAT). This allows students to be judged on their full self instead of just one test. 

All Universities should be test optional, allowing students to decide if they want to take the standardized tests. This gives students the opportunity to focus on parts of the application that are important to them, like choosing between sending test scores and focusing on gpa. This will alleviate stress for students giving them more opportunities to excel.