Is The SAT Worth It?


Vivi Dubrulle, Staff Writer

Every March, about 2.2 million juniors take the SAT in the United States. Many of those juniors prepare for the exam by taking SAT prep classes and other classes to make sure they receive a good score. However, there have been many questions about whether or not the SAT is a good standardized test. The SAT has been proven to only show testing skills rather than knowledge and has even been proven to be racially and economically biased.

The SAT has been around for almost over 100 years. Starting in 1926, high school students started taking the test, and by 1935, Harvard University required all students to submit their SAT scores. The SAT consists of a reading, a writing, and a math portion within the test. While students want to do well on the SAT for college, many colleges are now SAT optional. According to the New York Times, in the last decade, over 1,230 colleges are SAT optional, even some top notch colleges such as Brown University, Tufts University, and Dartmouth College are now SAT optional. 

It is also an expensive test. Even the SAT prep classes are expensive. If you don’t live in an area that doesn’t pay for you to take the SAT, it’s usually about $90 dollars out of your own pocket. On the Prep Scholar website, online SAT prep classes usually cost between $100-$1,400 a course. Many people cannot afford that additional expense.

This brings me to my next point, being that the SAT has proven to be racially and economically biased. In 2015, Nyack High School in New York (that’s 69% white students, 38% black and 36% hispanic) proved this theory. 99% of their white students were proven to be proficient in English, while only 80% of black students and 72% of hispanic students were proficient in English. On the same test, 94% of economically stable students were proficient, compared to the 79% of economically unstable students. 

Even though the SAT is a challenge for many people, some people actually succeed. Many have gone on to receive scholarships by achieving a high score on the SAT. However, for people who can’t afford the test or just aren’t good test takers, the SAT should be optional and shouldn’t be a huge factor on whether or not you should get into college.