Do SAT scores define a ‘Good Student’?


Photo Credit: Mrs. Danielle Allen

A student filling in the answers on the scantron.

The SAT or scholastic aptitude test, one of the most stressful tests a teenager will take, aside from their driving test.

The test is based off of 3 sections;writing, critical reading and mathematics and its purpose is admission to undergraduate programs of universities or colleges. As students prepare for this lengthy, difficult test they worry about the thought of not getting into a college. But colleges are starting to realize that a person’s academic abilities should not be based off a test. So what is the true meaning of a good student?

“A good student is someone who understands the kind of student they are, they work hard, studies hard and applies themselves,” Guidance Counselor Cristina Marretta said. As guidance counselors call down students for their upcoming schedule they have to mention academic standings and how they’re doing in their classes.Some students worry so much about their classes and lose focus on things outside of school. Then other students focus too much on sports and activities and don’t worry about grades. A good student in the eyes of colleges and counselors is someone that can balance grades and being involved outside of the classroom. “They have know where to draw the line,” Marretta stated.

The new SAT logo and slogan.
Photo Credit: Photo via under the Creative Commons license
The new SAT logo and slogan.

“A student’s intelligence cannot be based off the SAT’s because, a student can have a strong suit in a class other than English and math. I think the true meaning of a good student is someone who is involved and cares about their grades, not necessarily the best grades but they try their hardest,” said Junior Amanda Tanculski who took the SAT’s for the first time in February.

English teacher and SAT Prep Instructor Brian Long stated, “There is value in wanting to give an accumulative assessment to a student. However, the true value of a student cannot be measured through bubbles on a scantron.”

The SAT’s though even with all the preparation, books, classes, and practice tests can still be difficult.

“There wasn’t enough time,” stated Junior Allison Zembery. With the old SAT students had 171 questions in 3 hours and 45 minutes and getting anywhere from 47 seconds to 1 min and 15 seconds per question. Even if the new SAT is shorter, the time for each section is not enough for some students, forcing them to rush and not do the questions to the best of their ability.

Now that college is more of a thought for the Juniors at Colonia High School the rise for stress and test anxiety has come about. Test anxiety, according to the ADAA can be caused by a fear of failure, lack of preparation, and poor test history. There are the students that can easily take a test without any fears or symptoms of test anxiety. But there are also students that do not do well on tests and fear failing or not achieving a certain standard for that test. That of course comes into play with the SATs and competing against peers for the best score, some worry so much that they don’t do as well as their friends.According to the ADAA website, the best way to prepare for a test is to of course be prepared, develop good test taking skills, stay focused and stay healthy.

So do colleges look for SAT scores or the personality and involvement behind the student applying for the college? Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey notes, “Standardized tests were designed to be used in conjunction with a student’s high school record. Rutgers considers all of the required credentials a student submits and places the greatest emphasis on your academic record.”