How important is your SAT score?


Madeline Uhler

Many juniors, as well as sophomores, have begun to prepare for the SATs. Students will spend hours studying and even go as far as hiring a tutor and retaking the test multiple times to achieve the highest score possible. In the current day in age, schools are starting to realize that being able to get a good score on this standardized test is highly dependent on wealth, so is any of this preparation worth it?

This test has been administered by College Board since the early twentieth century and used by colleges for admissions in the U.S. for years. Most students are already familiar with the SAT test by the time they get to high school. Those who have lived in the Virginia Beach school district for the past few years likely started preparing by taking the PSAT every year since eighth grade. Everyone from their teachers to parents push for them to start early with their preparation. 

Despite the test seeming to be an important determinant of what college a student will get into, there has been an increase in schools no longer requiring SAT scores for admissions. Time and time again, research has proven a strong connection between SAT and ACT scores and income, race, and mother’s education level. Many colleges and universities have recognized this and since the beginning of the 2000s, more and more schools are becoming test-optional.

More than 1000 accredited colleges and universities no longer require SAT or ACT scores for admissions (FairScore). Princeton University has jumped on the trend, Brown following its lead, with 14 graduate programs that don’t require GRE requirements in an attempt to encourage a wider range of applicants. 

Even some administration at Tallwood agree that the SAT isn’t the best way to prove the college readiness of a student.

“Your work ethic and your grades in high school are a better indication of how well you’ll do in college than one test. Many students don’t do well on the SATs, but they’re really hard workers and they will outperform other students in college,” commented Mrs. Amy Fannon, a Tallwood Guidance Counselor.

As of now, the tide is still yet to turn for colleges dropping the SAT requirements for admissions. Despite the rise in schools no longer recognizing standardized test scores as a dependable reason for admission, many schools still rely on them or at least use them for different reasons such as placement. 

Mrs. Amy Fannon added, “I do recommend that all students take the SAT because some colleges require it, many colleges do not require it, now, but as a junior, you don’t know what college you want to apply to.”

For now, it is safe to say SAT scores are still fairly important to many schools and worth preparing for. Whether or not students should take the test is something that depends on if they intend on attending college and which colleges they plan to apply for.

To see an Opinion piece on this topic, read Does the SAT actually matter? by Natalie Kester.