The End of SAT Test Requirements for College Admissions
Thousands of students fear the morning when they have to wake up at 7:00 a.m., go to a designated testing site, and sit in a cold room for more than four hours, taking the SAT. It’s a long, hard test, and your score determines which colleges will accept you.
Or, at least it used to.
Now, thanks to a movement among some of the highest ranked colleges and universities, submitting your SAT score is optional. This is the SAT-Optional Movement and anti-SAT-enthusiasts have been singing its praises. More than 800 institutes are now test-optional, which means that students do not have to submit their SAT scores in order to be accepted. Some of these include These include Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M, Wake Forest and George Mason.
But why would 32 of the top 100 liberal arts colleges, according to the U.S. News & World Report, no longer require students to submit their SAT score? For years, SAT scores have been used to determine who is accepted to these schools, and who got a very polite rejection letter.
Unfortunately, it isn’t out of the goodness of their hearts.
By not including these missing, and often lower than average, SAT scores, universities can submit an inflated SAT average to the organizations that report the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen across the nation. In fact, of the 32 schools mentioned above, almost all “admitted to submitting inflated averages that did not include scores from students who did not submit them during the admissions process.”
So, what does this all mean? Possibly the SAT will not be as important to future test-takers when it comes to determining where they will go to school. However, they must also take this into account: Just because a school has an average score of 1840 on the SAT, does not mean that is the real score. The real score of schools that do not require SAT scores for admission could be as much as 75 points below what they report.
I guess what I am trying to say is that if you do have to wake up at 7:00 a.m. and go sit in that scary SAT room, try not to freak out too much.
Jonathan P. Epstein, a specialist who monitors college enrollments and admissions, explains why your SAT score might no longer be a huge deciding factor.
“With colleges and universities engaged in intense competition to recruit ever more talented and diverse students, test-optional policies become alluring,” he said. According to Epstein, another advantage of being test-optional is that more applicants will apply, therefore increasing a schools ability to be selective about who they will and will not accept, based on more than just SAT scores.
The spokespersons for five of the top U.S. college agreed with Epstein. They said that what really motivates them are “accomplished students [with] personal qualities that can be reduced to a score on a 2400 point scale.”
Via The Washington Post and The New York Times