How the SAT can benefit students college & career choices

By: Daniel Lim

As several EC students get ready for college applications, their SAT scores are likely what will separate them from other applicants. On October 17, 2021 EC students took the Pre-SAT test. The Pre-SAT is a practice test for the SAT, and the score is often looked at by colleges when accepting applications. The SAT consists of two sections: math and reading and takes around 3 hours.

When asked about how the SAT would affect students' future college choices Stephanie Lim, EC’s College and Career Director, stated, “SAT scores are important because good scores set you apart from other students/applicants. Sometimes there are 70,000+ applications that colleges get, so colleges will first filter through these applications using students' GPAs and test scores. It helps colleges during the admissions process when they are deciding who to admit. If they were deciding on two students with similar academic/extracurricular backgrounds, the SAT/ACT score can be the determining factor for who gets admitted.”

On rare occasions, the Pre-SAT can get students into high level programs without taking the SAT. “If you achieve a high PSAT score (top 1% in the state--NJ) during your junior year of high school, you can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. This is a great achievement because you are then eligible for scholarships and can be recognized by prestigious colleges. Many Ivy League colleges enroll a certain number of National Merit Scholars, so you will definitely be set apart from other applicants during the college admissions process” Stephanie Lim stated.

This year, the highest score of an EC student was a 1560 out of 1600. This year the average SAT score for a high schooler was around a 950. EC student Lukas Faasse stated, “The SAT will only affect where I go if the college wants the SAT score or not.”

One of the biggest questions about the SAT this year is whether or not some competitive colleges will look at the scores. This is mainly to do with the COVID-19 pandemic because some students cannot take the test. However, this can benefit some students with a lower SAT score. Colleges like UCLA, Colorado college, and more are not accepting scores.

When asked about her opinion on colleges not accepting SAT score Stephanie Lim stated, “Many colleges have gone test-optional or test-blind during Covid-19. I think this is a great opportunity and advantage for students because colleges are now placing more emphasis on considering students for admissions based on a more holistic model, meaning they will look at the student as a whole and not only by their academic achievements. I think this is a great advantage because some people, like myself, just aren't good test-takers. Although this sounds all-around great, I still HIGHLY recommend every student to take the SAT/ACT because these scores can benefit you, especially if you are pursuing a future in the science or medical field.”

Taking the Pre-SAT is very important for students these days to get into competitive colleges. Stephanie Lim, who used to work for a test-prep company, The more practice you get in, the more familiar you will be with the format and question-types. Therefore, you will most likely see improvements in your score. If you have the means, get outside tutoring because they will teach you different tricks and tips to watch for on the tests. If not, ask your peers and friends to study with you/tutor you!”


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