Peyton Lewis ‘23, Feature Editor
The class of 2021’s senior year has not exactly gone as planned. Many states are completely virtual, and those who do have the privilege to go back are not getting the memorable high school experiances as one would have hoped for.. Though COVID-19 has offered one benefit: the burden of the SAT test being optional for most college applications. In light of the pandemic, many colleges have decided that they will not be requiring SAT test scores this year for hopeful students. This begs the question—were they really necessary in the first place?
In any normal year, SAT scores are very important for getting into competitive schools. This being why many students choose to spend extra money on tutoring, prep courses, and even purchasing the test itself. However, not every student has the funds to be able to afford such luxuries. Prepscholar.com said, “In general, you can expect to spend somewhere between $50 and $2,000 preparing for the SAT, depending on the option you choose.” This does not even include the cost of the actual test, which comes to $52 and $68 including the essay, according to the College Board.
These extravagant fees can put those who come from low income households at a greater disadvantage when it comes to taking the test. High SAT scores determine college acceptance. Those who are less fortunate do not deserve to potentially have their future jeopardized because they can not afford to retake a test.
Also, a recent study done by the former Dean of Admissions for Bates College, William Hiss, shows that there is something much more important for colleges to look at than SAT scores: the GPA. In an article about the study, PBS.org said “According to the data, if high school grades are not high, good testing does not promise college success. Students with good grades and modest testing did better in college than students with higher testing and lower high school grades.” The study showed that even though a student may have lower test scores, if they had better grades in high school, they are more likely to succeed than those who had lower grades and high test scores.
SAT scores are not really that necessary to demonstrate a student’s value to a college. They put lower income students at a greater disadvantage, and studies show that there are more important things than test scores, such as one’s GPA. Hopefully, this year can have one positive result: the end of the SAT, or even the end to any standardized testing as we know it.