If you are a high school junior or senior, your SAT scores are probably pretty high on your list of things to worry about. SAT scores are one of the huge realities of American education and many students regard them as the single most important factor in the college admissions process.
The College Board, which develops and administers the exam, states that the test is, “one of the best predictors of how well students will do in college.”
It’s important to note that the College Board is a private company which uses the SAT test to promote college-readiness as part of the college admissions process.
And, contrary to the statement that the SAT is a clear indicator of college success (or failure), current research indicates that the SAT is actually not very accurate as a predictor of college performance.
Educator Steven Syverson points out, “in spite of variations in grading standards and rigor at high schools across the country, it is widely acknowledged that a student’s record in high school is the best predictor of success in college.”
And recently, colleges and universities have noticed.
In the past few years, several schools have even implemented a test-optional admissions policy, based on the “big picture” including student grades, essays, and the interview process. According to Syverson, “The National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest) has compiled on its website a list of more than seven hundred four-year colleges that admit a substantial portion of their students without using standardized test scores.”
Still, SAT test stress persists.
And in fact, many schools do still use the SAT test as a factor, not only in admissions, but as a determinant for which classes a student should take. So what should a high school student do?
For anxious juniors and seniors, a visit to various college websites should be a first step. Do the colleges you are interested in have a test optional policy? If not, the admissions page will explain just how heavily the school weighs SAT scores.
Don’t be discouraged if your scores aren’t competitive…yet! If SAT scores aren’t quite in range, there are steps you can take to boost your score. Brush up on your reading, writing, and math skills. Practice timed writing prompts. Take a practice test.
If you’re stymied about where to start, a better solution is a completely customized, 1-on-1 approach that focuses on the specific areas you need to improve. At Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, you may take any or all content areas to strengthen knowledge, reduce anxiety, and build confidence every step of the way. Learn strategies specific to the SAT test, timing techniques, plus take and review practice tests.
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