SAT Is Back For Class of 2023 - And May Be More Important Now Than Ever

Remember when we talked about whether or not the SAT's were really optional and we told you guys that if you can do the SATs, you should make every effort to do them? Well, we have some news for you to further confirm why you SHOULD be doing a standardized test!
COVID-19 brought on a wave of test optional applications since 2020. Some college counselors from across the world hypothesized that colleges would remain on this path. ​​​​​​​​On the surface, it appeared to make college applications more accessible. Standardized Testing costs money and the SAT has to be done in person. So naturally, one would assume that extinguishing the additional expenditure of the exam itself alongside travel to specific (sometimes obscure) testing sites would level the playing field for low income students, right? WRONG.
​​​​​​​​Recent statistics from MIT show that removing the SAT / ACT requirement actually HURTS low-income students (rather than help them). So they have decided to go against the anti-test / test optional movement and reinstate the standardized testing requirement for the upcoming 2022-2023 application cycle and beyond. ​​​​​​​​
Thanks to MIT we now have some more info to help you better understand why "optional" isn't really optional and how Test-optional admissions actually works to many students' disadvantage.
A school can be classified as:-
Test-optional: which means that students are able to submit applications with or without SAT/ ACT grades; however, they are still considered if they are submitted;
Test-flexible: which means that they accept other grades such as AP, IB Predicted, CAP Predicted; and
Test-blind: where schools do not consider SAT scores at all, even if they are submitted.
Now, each of these has its own specific issues. However, the overarching issue is that without test scores, admissions committees are now tasked with making the decision based on information that isn't easily quantifiable.
Basing admissions on test scores is simple, the student with the higher score is the frontrunner and then that student's application can be supported by other information such as extracurricular activities. But when the extracurricular activities and other such factors become the determinants, not only is the process complicated by the subjectivity of the information, but there is also a risk of damaging the equity and fairness of the process.
According to Dean of Admissions at MIT, Stu Schmill, "Our research shows standardized tests help us better assess the academic preparedness of all applicants, and also help us identify socioeconomically disadvantaged students who lack access to advanced coursework or other enrichment opportunities that would otherwise demonstrate their readiness for MIT. We believe a [standardized testing] requirement is more equitable and transparent than a test-optional policy."
Higher income means higher access. Though the SAT / ACT can be an additional expense for all families, the truth is that when you take away a quantifiable data point of the college application, you leave the remaining subjective points to become even more competitive with persons of higher income being able to afford better resources.
Whether a higher income means that your school could afford to provide better opportunities, or you could afford to seek them independently, greater financial access grants you more opportunities to participate in remarkable extracurricular activities and will ultimately give persons with this access a unique advantage.
Many institutions continue to debate the best practice of college admissions. Colleges rely on research as well as the analysis of their own admissions and student performance trends to determine what really matters. There is consistent debate over whether standardised test scores or high school grades is the better indicator of future performance; however, the prevailing knowledge is that the two combined provides the best preface.
More and more people worldwide are questioning the validity of the standardised test. And while these tests may be viewed as flawed, there is still validity and necessity to these tests as they help colleges maintain fairness and transparency in their admissions processes.
Remember the aim - getting into college. Do not cower behind applying to test-optional schools simply because you do not want to sit the SAT exams. That simply does not serve your best interests. If you do apply to a test-optional school, do the SATs still and submit your grades and leave yourself a cut above the rest.
If you're heading to college in 2023 or 2024, we highly recommend starting your SAT Prep from as early as.... RIGHT NOW.
Click the link below to join any one of our remaining SAT Classes for 2022!
Author: AIM Online Academy
AIM Online Academy (was AIM Educational Services) is the leading college prep provider in Jamaica, that helps students maximize their potential as they make the journey towards college in the US, UK and Canada. For over a decade, AIM's team of College Experts & Essay Coaches have assisted students from all over the Caribbean, the USA and Canada get into the college of their dreams with enough scholarship and financial aid to actually attend.

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