Is the SAT still as important as it used to be? If so, how?
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.