5 reasons students should still plan to take the SAT/ACT

By Huntington Learning Center

  1. College Admissions: It is essential to recognize that a significant number of institutions still consider standardized tests a major part of their admission process, with numerous schools strongly recommending them. While some colleges and universities have chosen a flexible approach by temporarily suspending the SAT/ACT requirement, it's important to note that they do value and consider submitted scores as part of the admission process. Having strong standardized test scores will make a positive impression on admissions committees, and potentially improve a student’s chances of acceptance, scholarships, or admission to competitive programs. This is particularly true for competitive programs in fields like engineering, sciences, or honors programs, where demonstrating quantitative and analytical skills through test scores could be crucial.
  2. Scholarships and Financial Aid: Scholarships and financial aid opportunities are tied to a student's SAT/ACT scores. According to the College Board, students who take the SAT are eligible for more than $220 million in scholarships annually. Additionally, the higher a student's SAT/ACT score, the more likely they are to receive merit-based scholarships from colleges and universities. Overall, High scores can make a student eligible for substantial financial aid, making college education more affordable.
  3. Demonstrating Academic Ability: The SAT and ACT are designed to gauge a student's academic ability and potential for success in college. By taking these tests, students can showcase their knowledge and skills in fundamental subjects like math, reading, and writing. According to a study conducted by the College Board, students who opt for the SAT not only increase their likelihood of enrolling in four-year colleges but also provide assurance to admissions committees about their possession of the essential skills and knowledge needed to excel in the challenging academic environment of higher education. ACT's College Readiness Benchmarks and College and Career Readiness Standards play a pivotal role in identifying a student's readiness for college-level work.
  4. College Placement: In addition to admission and scholarships, colleges and universities use SAT/ACT scores to determine course placement. Students who score well on these tests may be placed in higher-level courses, allowing them to complete their degree requirements more quickly and potentially save money on tuition and fees.  Additionally, it's important to note that college acceptance does not always guarantee admission to specific colleges or schools within a university, for example, the business school or the College of Arts and Humanities. Thus, strong performance in these standardized tests not only increases the chances of general college admission and scholarship opportunities but also opens doors to more advanced coursework and specialized academic paths within the institution.
  5. Graduation Requirements: Numerous high schools and districts incorporate ACT and SAT scores as a component of their graduation requirements. This practice underscores the importance of standardized testing in evaluating a student's overall academic readiness and proficiency. By factoring in ACT and SAT results, schools aim to ensure that students meet a certain level of competence across core subjects before they transition to the next phase of their academic journey or enter the workforce. The ACT and SAT serve as a catalyst for academic growth, motivating students to not only attain satisfactory scores but also to develop a well-rounded understanding of the subjects covered by these tests. This, in turn, equips them with essential skills and knowledge that go beyond the exams themselves and are relevant for their future endeavors, whether they pursue higher education or enter the job market. 

Overall, taking the SAT/ACT can significantly impact a student's college and career opportunities. While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some changes to the college admissions process, these tests continue to play a vital role in the application process.