SAT’s are going away. Does it matter?


“Standardized Test” by biologycorner is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Isaiah Adeleke, Co-Editor-in-Chief

SATs have been around since 1926. High schools around the country take out days every year to test students for the SAT. In English and math classes teachers stop teaching some days and give out practice SAT tests. High schools use the baby SAT, the PSAT, to decide whether to put students in honors classes or not. A lot of effort, stress and tears go into these tests. 

My question is were they ever useful?

As a senior who’s applying for college right now, the first thing I check are the requirements. I notice that SAT’s are no longer required for most colleges.

The global pandemic has forced  colleges to contend with the thing they might have known all along: that the SAT was never useful and should have never been a requirement.

While I believe that this is good news, I can’t help but ask myself: why did it take a global pandemic for colleges to realize that the SAT never tested skill or smarts.

The first problem with the SAT is that higher class students fared far better, not because they were smarter but because they had more money. 

The SAT is a whopping $55, allowing students with more money to take the test over and over again until they get the score they need.  A lower class student does not have that luxury.

Having more money than another student should not give you an edge on a nation wide test especially since the SAT has many implications such as scholarships, getting into colleges and other merit based awards.

The SAT also charges students $16 to see their missed answers and the correct answers, meaning that if you want to see a problem you got wrong and why you got it wrong you have to pay.

Besides the SAT being a way to scam students such as charging $55 for the test, a $30 late fee for signing up less than two weeks before the exam and not even showing what questions you got wrong, it does not test intelligence very well. 

According to a study by the UChicago Consortium, high school students’ grade point averages are five times stronger than the SAT at predicting college graduation. 

While looking at that stat you may be surprised, but I am not whatsoever.

High school students’ GPAs is a number that has taken into account four years of high school, how well they do in specific areas and classes, and if they can turn assignments in on time. A GPA tells a more complete story whereas the SAT is a one day test that can have many deciding factors where similarly intelligent students can have very different results. 

However every school is different. A 3.5 GPA at one school might be a lot different than a 3.5 GPA at another school with less resources, and a worse learning environment.

This is where the SAT is supposed to come in and judge the students on a fair playing field. I mean it’s the same test and no one should have an advantage.

But if one student can afford to pay for the test multiple times while the other student can not, the student with less money now has a giant disadvantage.

An SAT score is something that you can pay extra money for to take multiple times, and is decided in a few hours. If you woke up late, forgot to eat breakfast that morning or were dealing with a lot of stress, your SAT score will reflect that which is not fair.

However it seems like many colleges are figuring out that this test was never fair to begin with for lower class students and are no longer requiring this test for admissions, I just hope it stays like this post-pandemic.