Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper

Featured Op-Ed

SAT Optional: A Savior Chance or a Torturous Confession

 SAT optional! 

 Is this an opportunity or a confession? 

Are Sat’s really that important? Are they an accurate measure of my intelligence? 

It sure seems so as colleges like Penn State or the University of Pittsburgh normally require a great transcript and a high SAT score. 

 It feels like they are judging you like a test, asking and probing on why your test scores are the way they are. On why your academics and clubs are who you are. 

 They demand that you explain how your transcript, clubs, and GPA are what reflects you as a student and show your worthiness of acceptance. This means that they don’t solely rely on one or two big tests to show them your high school academic career. 

Nevertheless, normally these tests are crucial and could suppress all the hard work that you applied in the last 4 years of your life. 

Whether you are a bad test taker or just had a bad day, this one test score normally could wash away four long years of determination and grit. 

In my opinion, this shows how the test-optional choice for the SATs is a savior for seniors as it reduces stress and the idea that your entire life could be decided by one day. By one test. It is important to know that this option is available to quite a few colleges if not all. 

In fact, the benefit of test-optional for the SATs is shown by a senior who is currently applying to college and said that  “I am choosing to not submit my SAT scores because it does not reflect me as a student. My transcript and essays reflect my high school and academic career.” This shows how the choice of whether you submit your SAT score is allowing students to show their real selves to colleges and the world. 

I am not denying that this test could help your chances if you do especially well on it, especially for the more prestigious universities. However, I think it is important to remember that a 1200-1300 SAT score and a 21 on the ACT would mean that you achieve a better score than half of the students that took the test. a This is a big accomplishment whether you decide to submit them or not. You could choose to see it as a reflection of you as a student or just a test that shouldn’t matter because it is only one day and one test that betrays the true self that your transcript can show to the colleges and the world. 

In my opinion at the end of the day, whether you choose to submit your test scores while applying to colleges or not, the test-optional choice takes a lot of stress off students as a whole and allows them to determine what path they would like to take. Instead of being told what exactly their application must look like, students can take a different approach to their application and shape it to what they want it to look like. This also includes other optional choices such as optional essays and extra information about you as a student. This has made applying to colleges much easier and a less stressful process for many students including myself. 

The choice of whether to submit your SAT scores or not is indeed a savior and not a tortuous confession.


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