Yes, studying for the SAT is really worth it

Despite recent changes to many college admissions requirements regarding the SAT, it’s still worth putting some time and effort into

Kara Dwyer, Assistant Editor, Opinions

For decades, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or the SAT, had been administered to high school juniors hoping to achieve high scores for college admissions. Although many have argued that the test is an invalid assessment of aptitude, it still remains an essential part of applications for a majority of American colleges. However, with the spread of COVID-19, many colleges have turned to a test-optional route. Students who opt-out of test submission are not penalized, which has made many juniors feel less motivated to study for the exams. However, scoring well on the SAT can put students at an advantage for scholarships and college acceptances. As time-consuming and frustrating as it may be, studying for the SAT is as important as it’s been made up to be.


Why to Study/Submit Your Score

Students who take the SAT, score well, and submit their scores to colleges often shine above those who do not. For those who are looking to apply to more competitive colleges, even the tiniest differences between two students’ applications can alter which is accepted and which is rejected.  Anyone whose score is above the 75th percentile for their high school (for RV, the average score is 1180) should submit their scores as well. Even if it may seem unimportant on your application, it can’t hurt to send in your scores and try your best.


How/Where to Study

According to the College Board, “studying for the SAT for 20 hours on free Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy is associated with an average score gain of 115 points.” Websites such as Khan Academy allow students to practice English and math skills they struggle in and even create a personal schedule for each student. This way, students can focus more on the actual coursework rather than when or how to study.

It’s recommended for students to start studying one to six months prior to the test, and to get at a minimum of 10 hours of studying prior to SAT day.

“I spent about a month studying mostly math SAT practice on Khan Academy, and when I took the SAT it was way easier,” said a student comment on the SAT Practice Board. “I nailed the section that I had the most trouble with the first time I took the test.” Going the extra mile for the SAT is almost always worth it for an extra point boost, even if you start studying late. 


As self-explanatory as it may be, studying and scoring well on the SAT can be essential for college. The year may be drawing to a close, but the final stretch of this school year during the pandemic is just as important as the rest. Take the time to work on a practice test or review a skill, and it can make all the difference in the long run.