Does The SAT Essay Still Matter?

March 18, 2018

Not sure if you will recommend the SAT Essay to your students? You're not alone. Experts and practitioners across the board continue to debate the SAT Essay.



School systems like Montgomery County, a school system with over 161,000 students, are offering free SAT testing for all students to improve student access to college. However, the SAT waiver does not include the $14 charged by the College Board to take the SAT essay. Over 1.7 million students took the SAT in class of 2017.


Meanwhile, influencers like Khan Academy (which, incidentally, has a partnership with the College Board, the provider of these tests) recommends that students "seriously consider taking the essay". The current incarnation of the test launched in 2016. 


 From Khan Academy:


Arguments for the essay include that it provides a window to demonstrate reading, writing, and analytical skills. In addition, it is less subject to outside influence because it is written under ostensibly controlled and time-bound testing circumstances.



In addition, it will be hard to know just how effective the essay is in predicting 4-6 year college success rates. 


On the other hand, an argument is being made that the additional cost can represent a barrier that further disadvantages lower-income students who may not have access to afford or take this test.


In either case, more colleges continue to drop this test requirement from their application process - the most recent being Harvard University on Thursday, March 15th.


Also, this:

 Currently, around 70% of students still opt into the SAT essay. Will you recommend it to your rising seniors and juniors this year?


Read more: More high schools offer free college admission testing. But there’s a catch. (Washington Post)


Read More: It Is Time To Eliminate the SAT and ACT Optional Essays (Princeton Review Blog)

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