How Important is the SAT Today?

For a long time, the SAT has been and still is a central part of the college application criteria. I’ve always had my qualms about centralized testing, although I also do see the need for some form of evaluating basic reading and math skills. Still, the importance places on SAT and SAT II scores is disproportionately high, in my opinion. It is, therefore, welcome news that many colleges are making SAT scores an optional rather than essential criterion in the college application process, as detailed in this article.

MORE STUDENTS IN THE graduating high school class of 2019 took the SAT than ever before, despite a record number of colleges and universities dropping the entrance exam requirement that’s long been a standard part of the admissions process.

More than 2.2 million students took the SAT, which is administered by the College Board, representing a 4% increase over the number of students who took the college entrance exam in 2018. The increase was driven in large part by the growing number of states that allow schools to administer the test during the school day, typically free of charge.


Idaho, Delaware, Maine and the District of Columbia participated in the SAT School Day in 2018, which the College Board launched in an effort to increase access for students who historically take the test at lower rates, including low-income and first-generation students, students who work on the weekends, have family obligations or have trouble accessing transportation to testing centers. Seven additional states – Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia – participated in 2019, driving up the number of students who took the test that way from about 780,000 to nearly 1 million.

Among the students who took the SAT during the day at school, 46% attended a high-poverty public school compared to 22% of students who took the SAT on the weekend at a testing center; 45% have parents who lack a college degree, compared to 30% of students who took the SAT on the weekend; and 46% are students of color, compared to 32% of students who took the SAT on the weekend.

What are your views on the SAT? Is it still a relevant tool for sifting though college applicants?

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