Should the U.S. get rid of SAT testing?

Every year in April, millions of high school juniors in the U.S. take the SAT. They prepare for it since middle school and stress about it until it is done. Colleges can use a students’ SAT score to determine if they want to accept them into their university. Over the recent years, many colleges have made it optional for applicants to include their SAT score on their transcript when applying. According to The Daily Cardinal, “a departure from standardized testing for college admissions has been trending in recent years, even pre-pandemic.” I am currently a high school junior and a couple weeks out from taking the SAT and wonder if I will put my score on college applications in the future.

Many high school juniors wonder if they will have to or if they should put their SAT score on their transcript and college application. I am also one of those students wondering along with many of my friends. We have many questions like when will we find out if we have to have our SAT scores on applications and if the colleges we will require us to put our scores. We hope we will get those answers in the coming months ahead when the state decides if it will be mandatory for all high school juniors to take the SAT. This story is important because high school juniors will take the SAT in a few weeks and high school seniors will finalize transcripts with and without SAT scores.

Recently, many colleges decided to not make it a requirement to have an SAT score on an application or transcript. “Such tests are not even as great a predictor of college success as they are touted to be, as they seem to only predict how well students can test,” says Anupras Mohapatra, a writer for The Daily Cardinal. The SAT is a test to see a students’ readiness for college. There are 5 sections of the SAT, reading, writing, math with a calculator, math with no calculator, and the essay portion. I believe these 5 things can have some impact on a student, show how well they do in school and what they understand, but it shouldn’t a deciding factor on whether or not a student gets into a university.

Another factor colleges and high schools don’t take into consideration are students with test anxiety. According to The Daily Cardinal,  “About two-thirds of high school students facing uncomfortable levels of such anxiety. The tests seem to unfairly penalize students for their mental health instead of gaps in knowledge, straying far from the selling point of such tests.” This detail is important to think about. Many high school students have test anxiety for just a quick math quiz. Their anxiety is much higher when taking this big of a test, especially considering it can determine whether or not they could get into a college. With that pressure in mind, students might not be able to perform their best because they focus on the potential outcomes.

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Another part of the SATs that some colleges and universities don’t consider is the socio-economic status of the families of students’ taking the SAT. “Kids from low-income families do worse than kids with more money. Wealthy parents can provide benefits that many low-income families can’t, such as tutors, learning opportunities, the best medical care, and schools with ample resources,” says Valerie Strauss, a writer for The Washington Post. Before reading this article, I didn’t even think about how a family’s socio-economic status could affect a student’s score on the SAT. I think this topic is important because many people don’t mention this when discussing the test.

In conclusion, the SATs are not the easiest test for anyone taking it. Years of prepping, studying, and practicing all for this one test come and go fast. It can determine where you go to college and what college might accept you based on your score. Many colleges and universities don’t take many things into account when determining if a student gets accepted based on their score on the test. As high school juniors get ready to take the SAT in just three weeks, many think about college when prepping for the test. With all of this said, the U.S. should get rid of the SATs, and colleges should not make it a requirement for applications.

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