It’s fall again, also known as college application season. The freshmen are getting ready for their first homecoming, the sophomores took the PPSAT, the juniors are stressing about something college related, and the seniors are applying to schools all around the country.
All of these kids will take different paths in life but all of them have something in common: most of them will take the SAT. The SAT is a four hour long test that not only tests your knowledge on subjects ranging from math to English, but how long you can endure one reading section, one language section, and two math sections before you collapse from stress. Almost every highschool dramedy has an episode about the SAT. Some students study for years, others for days, and some hire others to take it for them.
But is the SAT really necessary? I for one think that four years of highschool education matters more than a four hour test. Many colleges think the same things, however, the SAT is still something that stresses almost everyone out (including me!).
Colleges often say that your grades and your test scores aren’t the only thing that gets you into the school, that one’s personality must align with the overall atmosphere of the school as well. Students don’t have any influence in the process. A school tells you if you will belong there or not with a rejection or acceptance letter. I can’t think of any other way that the college process could work, there is no way to control other people, especially the admissions department. The only thing we can do is take as many AP’s as possible, volunteer a lot, and get good test scores. The rest is out of our hands.
No matter how many times you take the SAT every time you leave the exam room it is out of your control, what score you got, what colleges accept that score and which ones don’t. Standardized testing is meant to be hard, and they are something that we will have to take for a while now, it is just the way our society works. So maybe it is a necessary evil.
Colleges can’t follow you around with a notebook for all seventeen years of your life to determine what type of person you are. So they condense it all down into four years of grades, recommendation letters, test scores and essays. As important as education is, it doesn’t really matter what college you go to, you definitely don’t need an Ivy League education to be successful. Sure, Harvard might look good on a resume. But have you ever asked your doctor, lawyer, or even the chef at your favorite restaurant which college they went to? No matter what school we go to, as long as we work hard there is no doubt in my mind that we can achieve our goals.
So yes, I do believe the SAT is a necessary evil but I also believe that an imperfect test score isn’t the end of the world.