Here is the scenario: You are a junior or senior in high school. You want to apply for college. You know what colleges you want to attend, but do you know what you need to apply? Of course, you need to send in an application complete with your high school transcriptions, but that is not it. Most colleges and universities recommend test scores. In fact, some require it. For that reason, you may be told that you should take the SAT. Unfortunately, if you are like most students, this test may bring fear.
Yes, the SAT is an important test. Unfortunately, many students make a big deal out of it. Some students get themselves so worked up that they actually do badly on the test because of their nerves. You do not want to let this happen. Although the SAT is a very important test, look at it as just another high school test.
Although you should look at the SAT as just another high school test, one that you should still study for, it is important to understand the importance of this exam. Many students who are unfamiliar with the SAT are actually surprised to learn the impact it can have on their lives. So, just how important is the SAT?
It may determine your acceptance at the college of your choice. You likely already know that colleges and universities in the United States accept SAT scores. In fact, most do. In terms of college admission, many factors are taken into consideration. These factors tend to include high school course work, grades, class rank, volunteer work, teacher recommendations, other notable accomplishments, and the SAT. Since there are many factors taken into the consideration, the SAT typically is not the deciding factor in your acceptance. With that said, it may be in some cases.
What you need to remember about the college admission process is that most schools, even cheap state schools, receive a wide range of applications. On average, colleges receive at least 50,000 applications a year. Only a small percentage of those students are admitted for enrollment. It is a tough decision, especially since most students have good grades, a decent class rank, teacher recommendations, and volunteer work. When applying students are on even levels, college administrators may turn to the SAT scores. The student with the highest score has a better chance.
As previously stated, many factors are considered during the college admission process. Many students do well in class and on their homework assignments, but barely pass tests. You may be the exact opposite. You may do awesome on tests, but suffer with class participation or homework. For that reason, you may have a low GPA, but when it comes to testing, you bring in the big grades. In this aspect, a good SAT score can help to offset your low GPA. Of course, this does not mean that you should slack off the rest of the year though.
In addition to preparing for college, many students later use their SAT scores on their job applications and resumes. You will likely work through high school and college. Most students are lucky to get a job in retail. Job experience, in any field, is good, but keep your long-term goals in mind. Will working as a part-time cashier for four years help you land a job as a teacher? Not likely. Add in your schooling with your good SAT scores and your chances of getting the job improves. You benefit the most from including your SAT scores on a resume when applying for an entry-level job where you have no relevant experience.
In short, the SAT is a very important test. Although you are urged to not apply too much pressure to yourself, remember the benefits of taking and doing well on this important test. If you are scheduled to take the SAT and if you have not already reviewed your high school notes for English and math, do so now.