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The SAT: Overhyped? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     The troubles of the SAT are still a long way off for me, a freshman, but I do plan to take the test a few times to familiarize myself with it before senior year. I feel this need because I want the highest score to ensure that I get into a top university. The SAT is seen as the most important test of your life, but it is not as important as you might think.

In the past, SAT scores were a significant factor in deciding who was accepted to a school. The Educational Testing Service created it so that students across the nation could be compared using the same standards. This was an excellent idea, in theory, since high schools have different grading systems and expectations. How would a college know if an A from one school meant as much as an A from another? The SAT remedied this, and its popularity spread so that it became a determining factor for college admission. Now, however, its importance has grown out of proportion.

College admissions advisors no longer consider SAT scores their highest priority but more of an indicator of academic aptitude. Other factors, including participation in school events, community service, and job performance can show how hard-working and dedicated an individual is. Most colleges now prefer to see a student’s grades instead of an SAT score because they are just as effective at showing academic aptitude.

I am not advising you to blow off the SAT, because a low score will still damage your chances for admission, but depending on the university, scores seen as “merely acceptable” will not hurt your chances. An extremely high score will help you, but not as much as a low score will hurt your chances. My plan is to learn the range my favorite college prefers and try to do at least 50 points better. I have always been an over-achiever, though, so really I am aiming for that perfect 2400!

Know that if you use my advice, you use it at your own risk. Most people are incredibly stressed-out when they take the SAT because they think it is the one test that will determine life’s success. It is not. Study, do your best, but do not be stressed. Also, you can take the SAT multiple times and improve. The SAT is not evil, but it is overhyped. It is without a doubt a very important test, though not as important as it is made out to be. As long as you pay attention in class, you will be fine. You do, pay attention in class, right?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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