According to college admission officers, the SAT still remains near the top of factors in admission to a campus. However, there are a rising number of test optional campuses which can be found by visiting fairtest.org. I always encourage students to take both the SAT and ACT as you never want to limit your options moving forward. If you struggle, you can always apply test optional in the future.
No. Many schools don’t even require it, but most do. it’s still one of their favorite ways to evaluate students.
If you’re looking for financial assistance, definitely. SAT scores play a role in decisions about merit-based scholarships—even at some test-optional institutions. Decisions about awarding merit scholarships usually include an evaluation of a student’s high school grades in conjunction with his or her test scores. Some merit scholarships just have a baseline cut-off: If a candidate has a GPA that’s above X combined with an SAT or ACT score better than Y, then he or she is automatically granted the scholarship.
Even “score optional” schools don’t let applicants off the standardized-test hook entirely. Many of these colleges require a battery of other scores (usually AP or SAT II subject tests) to make up for the absence of SAT or ACT results. While the precise role of SAT scores in the admissions process varies from school to school, the general consensus is that test scores do play an important role in the decision-making process at most institutions. With that said, they’re not nearly as critical as your high school transcript. Admissions officers want applicants who have taken a challenging curriculum and excelled at those courses. They’re also looking for students who have interesting extracurricular activities and stellar recommendations.
Those involved in the admissions process claim standardized tests give them information other metrics can’t, namely, how a student measures up to candidates from other high schools. That said, SAT scores are always looked at in conjunction with the rest of a student’s application—not as a separate, free-standing indicator of academic success. A high SAT score can serve as a sort of tie-breaker in the application process. If there are two students who have the same grades, equivalent extracurricular activities, similar backgrounds, and the same caliber of recommendations, schools will go with the candidate with the higher score. This is partially due to a genuine belief among colleges that the SAT does measure something useful. It might also have something to do with the fact that median test scores for admitted students are one measure used by college rankings. Whatever the motive, the bottom line is that a better SAT score can certainly give an applicant the leg up in the tough college-admissions process.
Over 800 four-year colleges don’t require SAT or ACT scores at all. That number is growing and now includes some top-notch liberal arts institutions. College admissions officers swear up, down, and sideways that they care more about an applicant’s grades, recommendations, essays, extracurricular activities, and pet fish Murray than they do about his or her test scores. So no, I don’t think they matter as much now as they used to, but I still recommend every student take them. Sure, SAT scores aren’t the end all be all of college admissions—but they still remain an important part of the process.
They do and applicants should still plan to sacrifice at least one Saturday morning of their junior or senior year to the standardized testing gods. The vast majority of schools still requires an SAT or ACT score from each applicant. And among the best schools in the country, only a few are “score optional.” Nineteen of the top 25 liberal arts schools, and all of the top 25-ranked national universities (as ranked by US News & World Report) still require standardized test scores. For applicants looking at public universities, almost all the flagship campuses of the best state schools ask applicants to submit SAT or ACT score.
I have had this conversation with admissions professionals, and they tend to think that the SAT isn’t as important as it used to be. There is so much information on each candidate that the SAT is but one piece of data. Most colleges look at the transcript first and look for a progression of difficulty from year to year. Course selection and success in courses really matters most. Some colleges (e.g., NYU) are now SAT optional because they have so much information on a given student. I want to make sure that students know what to expect on the SAT but that they can show a target school that they have a strong transcript and a few activities about which they are passionate. Between those items, recommendations and essays, colleges are armed with information.
SAT is used alone with other accomplishments subjected to different applicant pools. SAT is also normally used for scholarships. the studen’ts GPA is the single most important evidence alone with the curriculum selection and challenges of the courses.
In the 20 years I have worked in the field of test prep, I’ve frequently heard speculation that the SAT is going away. For good or bad, the SAT is still an important part of the college admission process. There are more selective schools (as opposed to open-admission schools) joining the test-optional movement every year. But unless your entire college list is made up of these institutions, your scores still matter for general college admission, admission to honors programs, and scholarship applications. For most students, SAT scores are still important, so take some steps to maximize your scores.
Colleges are getting more and more applicants every year. They can now use SAT test scores and GPAs to determine which students to accept each year.
The SAT (along with the ACT) is still pretty important when it comes to college admissions. However, there is a growing list of colleges (many of them highly selective) which are now test optional. “Test optional” means that they do not require students to submit their standardized test scores. For a list of schools which are currently test optional, go to http://fairtest.org/university/optional. Some of the most selective test optional schools include Bowdoin College and Smith College.
For years, students applying to college have taken standardized tests that are sent to colleges to be considered as part of their applications. In the past decades, these tests have come to the forefront of a debate on their necessity fairness and relevance. Standardized tests treat students like the machines used to grade them – as though people were designed to function at the push of a button. Standardized test makers assume that students all fit into a mold and work against students who are “wired” a bit differently. Students who do not think the way the test makers expect have an extreme disadvantage. In order to remain a relevant aspect of the college admissions process, standardized tests must be considered in conjunction with other factors.
Especially in larger colleges, an applicant’s test scores are still very crucial. If a student didn’t do as well as he hoped for, some colleges will overlook that with a great GPA and overall well-rounded application (activities, community service, sports, etc). But, for most students, the higher those test scores, the better!
Nothing induces greater fear in the heart of a college applicant than the SATs and yet increasingly they are less about the applicant than they are about the school and its interests. The SAT has lost its primacy as its one time monopoly like status has faded as ACT has become increasingly popular and accepted. Too, the clear evidence that focused test preparation and courses can improve scores makes it less reliable as a predictor of college performance. Now more than ever before the value of the SAT lies in the way it can be marketed by schools as a testament to the strength of their student body. In the end while they remain a singular part of the process their true importance varies widely.
The SAT or ACT scores are generally a very important part of the application. However, they are not as important as they used to be because now over 850 four year colleges have gone test-optional. For a list of these colleges, see http://www.fairtest.org/.
I have my own personal opinions about the SAT (and ACT for that matter) and what it measures and how it applies to college success. All assessments measure something and they provide data and numbers so that colleges can attempt to gauge a student’s collegiate potential. However, there are exceptions to every rule.
While more and more American colleges and universities are implementing test-optional policies for admissions, acknowledging that test scores do not necessarily correlate with college success, the SAT remains incredibly important to gaining admission to top tier colleges. Regardless of whether or not a student’s dream school requires the SAT, high scores can only have a positive impact on the student’s chances of admission.
More and more schools are not requiring them
Like it or not, many colleges do rely on standardized tests as one of the top three criteria for admissions according to NACAC, a national college advising organization. That said, individual colleges and universities treat the tests differently. Some are test-optional and don’t even consider them much.
Absolutely. The SAT is the most taken college admissions test in the world. It is a standard that is extremely valuable because of this. Some states and countries use it as a proficiency exam to exit high school.
Sorry, but I’m not an SAT expert. Seek out someone who has vast experience on the subject.
There are a variety of answers to this question:
Yes, the SAT is extremely important in today’s admissions game. Not only is it tied to entrance into the various programs across the country, there is a direct relation to the amount of merit aid you may receive because of your testing numbers.
In some ways, the SAT is as important as ever. It still represents just one of two tools (ACT being the other) college admission offices can use to academically compare students from different high schools. The void created by the absence of any universality with regards to course offerings, requirements, and grading in high schools is still filled reasonably well through standardized tests. However, most colleges and universities conduct full-file, holistic review processes in which the SAT (or ACT) is just one factor among many in determining admission offers. One sign that points to the SAT’s diminished value in the admissions landscape: an increasing number of schools enable students to opt out of submitting standardized test scores. Fair Test (www.fairtest.org) maintains a complete list of schools that have optional test score policies.
The SAT is still required for admission to a number of schools. Depending on the institution, more or less weight may be given to your score. Research continues to demonstrate there are issues with standardized tests, that can’t be ignored. For this reason, the list of test optional schools continues to grow (see FairTest.org). At some schools, SAT scores may factor in to merit aid awards.
At some colleges, yes, standardized testing is still very important. It doesn’t matter if you take the SAT or the ACT for the most part, either is acceptable. So many colleges are going test optional because standardized testing really doesn’t represent your ability in school as much as it represents how well you can take a test. Many colleges do not require standardized tests anymore for this reason. Of course, colleges are penalized in the rankings when they don’t report test scores (but don’t worry much about rankings anyway!). Check out www.fairtest.org.
Yes! And no. While grades and course selection are paramount, the SAT (and its counterpart the ACT) still plays an important role in the admissions process at colleges nationwide. It provides additional information about a student’s abilities to admissions officers. Testing is intended to supplement grades and essentially “level the playing field” for students attending disparate high schools across the country. While there’s certainly room for discussion as to whether the SAT succeeds in that goal, it’s a fact that it’s going to be a part of most students’ applications in the end. The vast majority of college bound students take either the SAT or ACT, and that’s not going to change any time soon.
I’ll let you in on a little secret…..SAT/ACT scores are extremely important to most colleges, but not all of them.
Yes, the SAT/ACT are very important they are still used as part of the entry requirements for many institutions and the scores on these test along with your academic performance overall, and your responses to essay questions are factored into a rubric to determine your admission into most schools. Do not take the test lightly, some schools only look at the numbers and others are more holisitic, but almost all require the test as a part of the admission package.
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