Scholastic aptitude testing, or SAT, started last weekend, and Hull High School guidance counselors as well as a student leader report that new changes are benefiting students.
The SAT essay and subject tests have been removed, allowing for less preparation and a quicker test day.
HHS guidance counselor Michelle Burke said of the changes: “It simplifies things a lot for students, taking that equation and making it more simple. It’s a smoother or quicker day for them. I think students prefer them that way.”
Many colleges are no longer requiring SAT scores in students’ applications, giving students more flexibility.
“The fact that those schools are willing to go test-optional is a great thing for our kids,” Burke said.
Many students were unable to take the SAT last year, as the coronavirus pandemic set in.
As a result, colleges and universities started “recognizing that it isn’t the students’ fault for not being able to take a test,” explained Meghan Preble, another HHS guidance counselor.
Because of that decision to make the SAT optional, applying to more competitive colleges is becoming easier and more common, with fewer students taking the SATs.
“Many top-tier schools have become test- optional, resulting in a majority of students applying for those test-optional schools to not take the SAT or ACT,” said junior class president Grace Grosso, referring to the American College Test, which determines an applicant’s preparation for college-level work.
Although most colleges were test-optional for the application season last year, not all have decided this year.
Preble said that “some of the colleges are already coming out, saying they are going to continue with their test-optional, which I think is easing the anxiety. But I think the uncertainty of what colleges are going to do adds to the uneasiness.”
Burke believes that there may be fewer students taking the SAT. “We are encouraging them to sit for it,” she said, because “we like them to have that flexibility.”
Students can take the SAT but can choose not to submit their scores in their college applications. Or, if they do well, they can add the results as a bonus.
Although most colleges were test-optional for the application season last year, not all have decided on that option this year.
Preble says that “some of the colleges are already coming out, saying they are going to continue with their test-optional, which I think is easing the anxiety. But I think the uncertainty of what colleges are going to do adds to the uneasiness.”