SAT Requirments

Chloe Liles, Staff Writer

Over the years, educators and students across the U.S have questioned the significance of the SAT and wondered if it should even be required. Some colleges like the University of California have even gotten rid of the requirement to pass the SAT because people don’t think it’s as important as it seems.

“I think [getting rid of the SATs] would provide kids with more opportunity to get accepted since the SAT was sometimes a barrier for admissions for some students, especially students who never received the preparation for it,” said Isabel Hernandez, a student counselor. According to forbes.com, researchers have discovered evidence that the SATs and ACTs do not predict a student’s college success as accurately as other measures like the GPA. Many people believe that the SATs show how good students are at taking tests, not their actual preparedness for college.

Furthermore, some colleges are relying more on GPAs because they are a long-term assessment of the student’s behavior and performance. Students who are prepared for college will most likely have a high GPA because they show up to class on time, turn in their assignments, and do relatively well in their classes. GPA’s present a long-term work ethic and employability while SAT’s display how good students are at cramming before a high-stakes test.

“If a student is given more time on the test, it’s no longer standardized because they aren’t testing under the same conditions,” stated Mr. Terrones, a history teacher. As illustrated by forbes.com, students who are financially wealthy are provided unfair advantages. Last year, for example, there was a major college scandal in October where a proctor would raise SAT and ACT scores in exchange for bribes. While the event is exceedingly rare, people still find it inequitable that wealthy people have more advantages than the average student, from expensive prep classes to neuropsychological evaluations that give students a time extension.

However, Mr. Terrones also references the importance of the SATs and ACTs since they weed out the outliers that are out of the admissions control. To illustrate, if two students from different schools are enrolled in the same course, and one teacher gives a lot of homework and tough tests while the other gives almost no homework and easy tests, the grades will likely be different. Based on grades, it seems like the student with a lax teacher knows the subject better, which isn’t necessarily true. The standardized test differentiates who knows the material because the student with the harder class worse grade is most likely more familiar with the material than the student with the easier class and higher grade.

For this reason, it is best for colleges to not only rely on GPA, but also need to consider awards, community service, and the number of classes. If colleges utilize several different resources instead of one main test, they’ll be able to isolate who is and isn’t prepared for college. A single test or a GPA does not show the true potential of the student, so colleges need to sift through all the different resources that show colleges who the students are.  Requiring more letters of recommendation would also be useful since it allows colleges to assess the student’s character both academically and personally before they enter college.