Students Weigh in: Should SATs be Required?


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A standardized test and pencil.

Should the SAT be mandatory?

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With a new school year starting, many things are on a student’s mind. For many students, particularly juniors, the SAT test is a big contributor to stress regarding school and the future.

The Scholastic Aptitude Test(SAT for short) is a standardized test, widely used for college admissions. It is a multiple-choice, pencil and paper test administered by the College Board. The test takes about 3 hours (without an essay) and 3 hours 50 minutes (with an essay). Those who are planning on attending a college or university might look at the SAT as an opportunity to prepare better for their scholastic future. But for a student who has different plans, the SAT might seem like a waste of time, money, and stress. 

Students shared varied perspectives about the test.

Sophomore Elliot Fields said the test should be optional. “I think the SAT should be optional. Since COVID, a lot of schools aren’t requiring it anymore and also more people are branching out into trade schools. I think it’s only obvious that people shouldn’t have to waste their time and money on a test that they might not even need. I think it should be offered, but not required for all students”

Junior Faith Harrison said that determining intelligence using a test is unrealistic. “I do not think test scores reflect a person’s intelligence at all. Some of the brightest people have low test scores. They just might not be good test-takers or good at applying everything they’ve learned over the year in one day with one test.”

Harrison says that she has a plethora of colleges on his list, and she wants to double major in general business and dance. Her goals for the future are to become a choreographer and hopefully own a restaurant/ fast food franchise. She said she believes the SATs are “not important for those not attending college.” She said that “instead of spending your time on the SATs that hold no weight in your career, you could focus on more important things that pertain to your goals in your career and your life.”

And sophomore Mia Schroeder talked about her history with testing and test anxiety. “I don’t think I get too stressed out with tests, like, tests don’t give me a ton of anxiety.”

She said she does not usually study for tests. “Usually, I mean, it’s good to study for a test, but I think that even taking a test without studying, you’re displaying what you know from what you’ve learned. So I’ve always kind of taken tests feeling that way.”

She also pointed out that requiring students to take the test, which is required for many college admissions, may help prevent them from forgetting it or skipping it and then needing it for the application process.

“That being said, I really do feel like if high schoolers weren’t required to take an SAT test, then a lot of them just wouldn’t, they’d opt out of doing it, and I feel like that would kind of be damaging to a lot of students.”