Why SATs should be banned


Jada Watson writing

Lydia Kim

Students who are already stressed, sleep deprived, overworked, and anxious have one more thing to worry about; the SATs.

The SAT is a college entrance exam high school students are required to take for college admissions.

However, a single test should not determine a student’s future, and here’s why:

This test is not a reliable way to measure a student’s academic abilities and knowledge. It can only assess students on a limited range of skills and knowledge on the subject, math or english.

According to Politico, “2 million U.S. students from the class of 2018 took the SAT.”

Based on the college board, the SAT measures students’ ability and educational achievements that leads to successful performance in college, such as your GPA and grades.

Along with the questioning of the legitimacy of SAT scores, there is speculation of the financials.

It is estimated that the College Board made over $1.1 billion on SATs alone. Causing suspicions if the SATs are actually for predicting students’ academics, but rather for marketing. 

Even Ivy League and other elite colleges agree that the SATs should not measure the students’ academic intelligence as one test does not show the spectrum of the students’ talents and competence: such as Duke University, New York University and Cornell College.

Laurie Koehler, who leads enrollment efforts at George Washington University, told NBC, “The test-optional policy should strengthen and diversify an already outstanding applicant pool and will broaden access for those high-achieving students who have historically been underrepresented at selective colleges and universities, including students of color, first-generation students, and students from low-income households,”


The SATs have a negative influence on students’ mental being and learning. Instead of increasing their understanding of the material, students desire a better score. 

 Due to the pressures of receiving a good score from others and themselves, students tend to get a negative attitude towards learning and education.

The SATs also distracts students from their extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs, because they are stressed about taking the SATs.

Jeremiah Quinlam, dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale University, told NBC, “Yes, we want students who have achieved in and out of the classroom, but we are also looking for things that are harder to quantify, [like] authentic intellectual engagement and a concern for others and the common good,”

A Harvard study on focusing admissions on involvement in community rather than academics, inspires other universities such as Columbia University to look at the activities of students, than their test scores. 

Results of the study show, “We found that grades, involvement in school and one’s community were the best indicator of student performance.”