Should We Be Stressing About SATs?

$50.52. Although that may not seem like all that much,  $50.52 is 12 and a half gallons of gas, one Nike shoe or 3 large pizzas.

$50.52 could also mean your future. Fifty dollars and fifty-two cents is the current price to take SATs and because most kids take the exam more than once, that means that they (or in most cases, their parents) are shelling out almost one hundred dollars for college, before college has even started.  But, are all these exams really all that necessary? That is what I set to find out.

As of 2016, many colleges will be either test optional, test flexible, or test blind. Test optional schools actually give the applicant a choice as to whether or not to send scores, meaning that, in the case your scores fall a bit below the average or do not reflect your general intelligence level, they do not have to be submitted. Schools that are test blind require no scores at all, preferring to choose admission based on transcripts and other criteria.  Lastly, schools that are test flexible will accept alternatives to the normal SAT tests, such as the ACT or SAT Subject Tests.  

I called many colleges, like Stonehill College in Massachusetts and found that majority of them feel that, “Students academic success in the classroom is a better indicator,” rather than, “how you performed for four hours on a Saturday morning.” (Huffington Post). However, most private colleges and all Ivy League Universities are not optional, so keep that in mind when deciding about which test to take, if any. This is one of the decisions that many current juniors and seniors are facing right now. This spring, however, Woodland Regional High School students will be taking the SAT on March 2nd in place of SBAC  testing and will not have to pay the fee to take the test. 

Out of 64 students surveyed at Woodland, 11% of students plan on taking the SAT only once,  9% plan on never taking the exams, and an overwhelming 80% of students at the school plan on taking the test 2 or more times. Should we be like the 80% and take the tests 2 or 3 times? Or take a cue from the 9% of students and not take the test at all? My advice is do what’s best for you, if you want to take the test again then do it, but do not stress out too much if your scores are not as high as anticipated, as you will still have plenty of options to choose from. No matter what you choose to do, there is always going to be a school that will accept you.  Here is a list of schools that are SAT/ACT optional, flexible or blind.