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Why the SAT is Stupid: A Student Perspective

Written by Frankie Gonzalez, Converge multimedia journalism intern and student at Dacula High School

For decades, high school seniors have been given the notion that SAT scores make or break your chances of getting into college. Therefore, high school students spend a large (some may say unhealthy) amount of time stressing over a single test grade that is said to define you for the rest of your life… That is simply not true.

The SAT is a standardized multiple-choice test, comprising of two sections, math and reading/writing skills. The test was originally created in 1926, by eugenicist and Princeton University psychology professor Carl Brigham.

It is used to differentiate students’ skill levels and knowledge from varying high schools based on the score they receive. The SAT was basically designed to find out how smart a student is and who is the best of the best at certain schools.

However, a single test should not define a student’s entire academic career. The SAT is an extremely outdated way to measure intellect. It fails to accurately measure the intellect of a student, being that there are only two specific criteria that the test evaluates.

Other factors can play into taking the test itself as well, that can deter a student from receiving their desired score regardless of intelligence. For example, a student can be extremely intelligent, overall, but can be an anxious test taker, resulting in a bad SAT score. Even though the student has good grades and a high GPA, according to the SAT grading system, the student is less intelligent than that of someone who is a good test taker.

Several other factors, such as being weak at a certain aspect of the SAT—either math or reading—not getting enough sleep and/or simply having a bad day can all jeopardize getting a high SAT score. Just because a student gets a low score should not mean that they are overlooked by a potential college.

There is more to a student than just their SAT score. In modern times, we know now that colleges are looking at how well-rounded a student is, and how well they can juggle a work life balance, not solely focusing on one score. A student’s GPA, extracurriculars and community service should hold more weight than a single exam, being that it shows a better representation of a student over the past four years rather than a single day.

As of 2021, there are over 1,000 universities in the U.S. that are not requiring the submission of SAT scores for admission. This just goes to show how widespread the idea is that SAT scores are not the most important aspect of a student’s credentials.

In conclusion, now more than ever, the SAT has lost significance as colleges begin to realize a student is more than one score.