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Too much emphasis on SATs

Standardized testing has way too much value in dictating whether students get into colleges now-a-days.

As you enter your junior year of high school, the intensifying pressure of studying, taking, and hoping you performed well on both your SAT and PARCC test becomes a massive priority. It does not simply start then, however. The emphasis and the importance of trying to perform well on the SAT begins as soon as you enter high school.

Students feel the burden of standardized tests throughout the years, but especially when they reach junior year. That is the year in which all the talk about the SATs goes into full drive. Unfortunately, if you are planning attending most of the private/public schools in America for college, this test is a necessity. The fight to get into schools is intensifying, and the SATs is a big part of it.

College Board predicts an average score would be considered a 1000 on the new SAT; however, it also predicts that the average student will score in the 900s. Higher-end schools look for SAT grades in the 1200s. According to, you need at least a 1050 to attend the lowest of the top 100 schools in the nation.

That is not even taking into account the elite universities such as Stanford, Tufts, FSU, etc. You need scores in the 1400s in order to attend these schools. One can only imagine what it takes to get into Ivy League schools.

There are plenty of stories of kids who are stellar students – honor roll or President’s list every marking period – who will retake and retake and retake the SAT, and still not reach the SAT mark of the prestigious colleges they desire to enter.

Junior Ethan Biscette said, “I’m very nervous about taking the SAT. I was previously taking a SAT class, but it really wasn’t helping me, so I told my parents I need extra help. I’m already a IEP student, so I worry that I won’t get a good enough grade on my SAT and get into the college of my choice.”

Take Rutgers, for example: Rutgers is a university that many of my teachers have attended, and it is a top 100 school in New Jersey. In the past, Monroe students would not have a terribly hard time getting into Rutgers, but now it is increasingly getting harder to be accepted. I know two people who got denied with 3.5 GPAs, and I have a friend who got wait-listed with a 3.7.

Junior Shawne Eldridge said, “I have the potential to go Division 1 for baseball, but I am concerned I will not be able to get into a school of my desire because of the SAT. I did not do too well on the first one I took, and I am not sure what I am supposed to do to in order to improve my score.”

According to the College Board website, the SAT is designed “to assess your academic readiness for college” and for “measuring the skills required for success in the 21st century.”

This is not entirely true; what the SAT mainly does is dictate how well you do on the SAT – plain and simple. The SAT, the PARCC, NJAct, etc. more of a money ploy for all of the corporations that create these tests.

The SAT cost $45 dollars alone to take. The essay is no longer a requirement on the SAT; however, some colleges require it, which adds another $12 to the cost. An average of 1.7 million students every year take the SATs, which means The College Board is making $76,500,000-$113,900,000 every year. That’s not even including the money spent on SAT prep: practice booklets range from $12-30+ dollars and SAT classes cost $200+.

I have friends who tried all there is to do – personal tutors, SAT classes, practice test booklets – and none of it worked. They still were not able to get the grade they strive for. It leaves one asking what the real purpose of the SAT is and does it do a satisfactory job of dictating collegiate success?

#college #collegeboard #MekhiAbbott #SATs

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