Is it time to say goodbye to the SAT?


Mary Forbes

The cancellation of many test centers during the pandemic has caused some colleges to go test-optional for applications. However, this leaves many students unsure of what this may entail.

The dog days of August bring both summertime blues and the sweet anticipation of another school year. For many high school seniors, this means spending hours upon hours with your newest friend, The Princeton Review: SAT Practice Tests. But after the devastating hit COVID-19 had on our traditional educational system, the century-old test is saying goodbye. Is it time students do the same?

Over the past ten years, many colleges and universities have done away with the requirement of a standardized test. The cancellation of many test centers during the peak of the pandemic left many students stuck without test scores. This inspired many schools to switch from empirical admissions to a holistic admissions process. So, instead of focusing only on the GPA and standardized test scores, they’d rather see multiple recommendation letters, strong personal essays, and a well-rounded portfolio of extracurricular activities. The SAT only highlights a small portion of a student’s capabilities.

Of course, that’s not to say the SAT is never beneficial. For students who may have struggled to keep up their high school academics, the test can show off their skills with understanding complex questions, ideas, and patterns. It can also give schools a baseline to evaluate certain students to see whether or not they meet their own specific requirements and standards at that specific school. But, with the new push for holistic review, why not have life experiences that can shape you as an individual? 

Ultimately, many schools have now switched over to being test-optional. If you believe that your test scores are a positive reflection of your academic performance, then you should present them in your application. Admissions counselors, advisors, and other administrators stress that with this option, you should never feel obligated to submit a score. 

The past decade has shown tremendous changes in the college admissions process. But, with the swift spread, COVID-19 had on the world, it’s no surprise it had an impact on how we handle college admissions. Instead of spending the last of your summer days locked away in your room, consider opening a new door to explore unimaginable possibilities beyond the ancient SAT.