Do Students Have to Take the SAT?

The SAT is one of the two standardized college admission tests commonly used in the United States, along with the ACT. Many colleges and universities across the US require applicants to submit their SAT or ACT scores as part of the college application process. However, not all colleges and universities require them, and some may have alternative testing or other requirements in place of the SAT or ACT.

There are some colleges and universities that are test-optional, which means that students can choose whether or not to submit their SAT or ACT scores as part of their application. Some colleges and universities may also have “test-flexible” policies, which allow students to submit other types of standardized test scores, such as Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam scores, in lieu of the SAT or ACT.

It’s important for students to research the testing requirements of the colleges and universities they are interested in applying to, in order to understand what is required in terms of standardized tests and to make sure they submit the appropriate scores.

4 Reasons to Not Submit an SAT Score to a College

  1. The student’s score is significantly lower than their academic performance would indicate: If a student feels their SAT score does not accurately reflect their academic abilities, they may choose not to submit their score to colleges.

  2. The student is applying to test-optional or test-flexible colleges: Some colleges and universities have test-optional or test-flexible policies, which allow students to submit other types of standardized test scores, such as Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam scores, in lieu of the SAT or ACT.

  3. The student has a disability that makes it difficult for them to take the test: If a student has a disability that would make it difficult for them to take the test, they may choose not to submit their score to colleges.

  4. The student is more comfortable with the ACT: A student may have performed better on the ACT than the SAT and thus choose to submit their ACT scores instead.

Choosing to Send Your SAT Score to a Test Optional School

When applying to a test-optional school, your decision of whether to include your SAT score or not should come down to whether or not the score makes you look like a better student or not. To better understand if your score helps or hurts you, let’s look at some average scores.

Average SAT Score for an A-student

Students with a 95 average are expected to score higher than the average, with an average score of around 1200-1300.

Average SAT Score for an B-student

The average SAT score for students with an 85 average is around 1000-1100, this can vary depending on the student’s high school, the level of difficulty of the classes they have taken and the rigor of the college or universities they are applying to.

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