Every year — and for some, more than once a year — students take the SAT so that they can demonstrate to colleges how high school has prepared them academically. Although some colleges have begun to implement test-optional policies for admission, it is important that students have the option to take the test, as SAT scores often benefit students in their college applications.
Not only must students be able to choose whether or not to take the SAT and share their score with colleges, but must also have the option to do the essay portion of the SAT.
For those who choose to, up until this spring an essay is included in the SAT test. While this is not mandatory for all taking the SAT, it should still remain an option. The SAT essay provides a valuable opportunity for students to be able to demonstrate their writing skills, which cannot be measured by the multiple choice questions that make up the rest of the exam.
Writing skills are important to colleges, as demonstrated by the fact that most colleges require a Common Application essay and/or an essay over a college-specific prompt. Having an SAT essay score on applications can help students reinforce to colleges the fact that they are a skilled writer.
Because the SAT plays such a large role in the college application process, it is a source of stress for many students. However, they do not have to worry about their SAT essay ruining their chances of getting a good composite score on the SAT. The SAT essay will not affect students’ overall score, as it is graded separately. By being graded in this manner, the essay provides an additional opportunity for students to showcase themselves to colleges outside of the standard SAT testing format.
Although sitting inside a school classroom on Saturday morning in the spring writing an essay is not most students’ idea of fun, it can be beneficial to them in the long run. The opportunity to be tested on their writing can help colleges get a fuller look at what kind of student someone is and it is a mistake for a the SAT essay no longer to be an option.