Seniors Question Future of SAT

Chloe Hoyle 22', Editor

As the college admissions cycle wraps up for 2022 admissions, Westtown students grapple with standardized tests and test-optional admissions policies regarding the SAT and ACT. Students’ pressure to achieve high test scores with increased additional responsibilities during the pandemic begs the question: do we really need the SAT?
According to Teacher Jess, the Director of College Counseling at Westtown, “The SAT and the ACT can be helpful for students in admission and in earning scholarship money.”
However, the process is uncertain. She continued, “College Board changes the SAT every 5 to 10 years because they are a business, they need to make money … to me, it’s a sign they’re losing market share.”
In fact, an updated SAT policy set to impact the class of 2024 signals the SAT is changing to keep up with the competition, and it seems unlikely the SAT will become obsolete anytime soon. The anxiety of awaiting admissions decisions, the choice of what school to attend, and the financial burden of attending school takes a toll on students’ mental health.
Having experienced the highs and lows of the admissions process, senior Lily Bentley described the experience by saying, “It’s sh*t.”
Early decision applicants focus heavily on one school and the potential letdown of being denied admission can be a tremendous weight on applicants.
Daniel Sellers-Johnston (‘22) remarked, “I would rather be judged on my extracurricular achievements, personal growth, and true knowledge than the grade I could score on a test taken months before I submit my application.” Many agree this makes test-optional admissions a no-brainer.
In addition to individual testing objections, added responsibilities at home and even jobs have become the priority over grades and test scores for many students during the pandemic. To many, it feels reductive for college admissions officials to judge them based on a test score.
Carys Grabel (‘22) feels that “while assigning a score to a student’s academic abilities probably makes the admission people’s jobs easier, it doesn’t really display the actual capabilities of the student.”
While the argument persists that college admissions are made more efficient through benchmark scoring, the immense weight college admissions carries in our society and the unfairness of admissions as a whole, many applicants would wait longer for an admissions decision knowing their full abilities were being examined.