Face Off: Dropping the SAT essay is a good idea

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Junior Luke Hern

Luke Hern, Reporter

The SAT has long been the achievement bar for students and colleges alike, with the test being a huge part of the college admissions and acceptance (or rejection) process for a long, long time.

Despite this, and with the coronavirus pandemic further moving the status quo, colleges are becoming more lenient with a lack of SAT or other standardized test scores. This is because colleges see and understand how hard and stressful preparing and taking these tests are. The multiple choice alone is very challenging and gives students nightmares to say the least, and to then have to write a full essay is salt in the wound, which is why the essay portion of the SAT should be dropped.

Thankfully, the multiple choice part of standardized tests are scores that can be improved over time with hard work, practice and more learning. Can the essay portion be practiced by students as well? Yes, but saying one can prepare for an essay (of which they have no idea what the prompt is) and then to go out and actually and score well is another thing. A vast majority of talented, bright students don’t do well under pressure, and having to take such an important test while being totally in the dark with one of the more important parts is just simply unfair. 

Whether from essay planning to writing quickly, there is so much margin for error in writing an essay, and having to do all those things in the moment without knowing the prompt beforehand is not setting up students for success.

On the other side, multiple choice, where a random guess is still often 20 to 25% of the time going to be right, is much easier to plan for, as the covered subjects and areas are the same year in and year out. In a world where students face enough stress with everyday assignments, the essay portion of the SAT only adds to it, and sadly has likely kept kids out of their desired colleges.

All in all, eliminating the SAT essay is a wise idea, as it will allow students to be more confident and score higher while not taking away the credibility or value of the overall test.