According to Inside Higher Ed, 75% of American colleges and universities no longer require the SAT or ACT for admission. Now the state of California has decided the SAT is no longer relevant and will not replace it with any other form of testing. Soon more states will follow suit.
While some parents may find this move away from testing unsettling because how else can one set themselves apart from the mass of applications? But, I prefer to look at the move away from testing as a blessing. (And about time!)
Studies have shown the SAT and ACT to be unfair towards specific populations--basically, wealthy students do well, and low-income families do worse. Not to mention, in my own experience as a public school teacher, some students simply do not test well--whether it is the environment or testing restrictions, or just anxiety. These tests do not determine how well a student will do in college. A student’s drive to succeed and their ability to seek assistance are much better indicators for achievement.
The part all families should celebrate is the fact of how much money will be saved. This year alone, I have spent over $400 for my senior to take the SAT twice, and send his scores (TWICE!) to 11 different schools. As parents, we are well aware of the cost of applying to college, let alone attending college, and the SAT/ACT and its requirements have ultimately become archaic.
With the removal of the standardized testing requirement, your student's personal and supplemental essays will become even more critical in the coming years. Stop spending needless money on SAT prep books, classes, and College Board fees. Instead, place trust in educators who have a proven track record and are Master teachers in their field. Find a writing teacher, tutor, or success coach who can help focus and amplify your student’s voice. Find someone who will embrace your student’s uniqueness and help them make the right choices.
Forget about the SAT and save your money. Because right around the corner, your child is going to need you to pay for each of their college applications--and that is money well spent.