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Is SAT Required for Your College?

Oct 3, 2022

SAT or Scholastic Assessment Test is a standardized test administered by the College Board and is taken by students seeking admission to various universities. The SAT exam is a 3-hour long test without an essay and 3 hours and 50 minutes long with an essay. SAT serves as a college-level test required for admission to undergraduate programs at most US colleges. 

Apart from this, SAT scholarship money is offered to students based on their SAT results. There are no minimum or maximum age criteria, and students can take the SAT exam as often as they want. SAT is administered in March, May, August, October, and December five times a year.


Why is the SAT mandatory for graduate high school, and why should you give the SAT?

In most college applications, you may be required to submit your SAT or ACT score (or both if you choose to), taking the exam is an absolute must. While many universities consider the SAT an optional requirement for admission, the SAT and ACT scores allow them to sort the applications according to their acceptance. SAT is also required when you are applying for certain scholarships. There are multiple reasons for giving the SAT exam. Some of them are discussed below –

It is required for colleges where SAT is mandatory

While most colleges have made SAT scores optional, some may require you to submit the SAT score according to the course you are applying for. Even if a college doesn’t require SAT scores for admission, you may still have to submit them to qualify for certain degree programs, so if you give the SAT exam, you will be considered for your future department. Some colleges may require you to submit SAT scores to qualify for scholarships. You might need to submit test scores if you intend to apply to a selective degree course. For example, in the University of Iowa’s nursing program, nursing students must have 1300 on their SAT to gain admission into the program. 


To increase your chance of admission

In the final years of high school, changing or boosting your GPA can be difficult, especially if your GPA is lower than the required value. The SAT exam improves your chance of admission if you have a low GPA. It can balance your GPA if you have a high score on the SAT or ACT exam. Even if your GPA is slightly below expectations or what you would like, your ACT or SAT, score gives you another chance to demonstrate to the university or college how much you have advanced intellectually. You have the chance to demonstrate your ability to work well under pressure and to study hard. This is a major reason why you should take the SAT exam.

To keep your options open for other colleges

Suppose you’re not planning to take the SAT and are only applying to colleges that don’t require SAT scores, but if you are not selected for the college you wish for, discover the other colleges you want to apply to that require SAT scores. Taking the SAT will ensure admission to any university in the United States (assuming you meet their score requirements). By taking the SAT, you’ll be able to apply to more colleges. 


To qualify for scholarships

In addition to your college applications, your SAT and ACT scores can be used to apply for more scholarships. These are sometimes merit-based scholarships. For SAT scores between 1200 and 1600, you can secure some scholarships, and the higher you score, the more scholarships you will get. The College Board helps candidates to obtain SAT exam scholarships in two ways, a 90% reduction in their SAT registration fees, and SAT scholarships for students offering a reduction in tuition fees till graduation. However, different colleges have different scholarship requirements. For example – the University of Mississippi requires a minimum 3.0 high school GPA and 23 ACT score for Mississippi residents or 25 ACT score for non-residents (or the SAT/SAT-R equivalent) for a $1,000-$26,292 scholarship.

For self-improvement

Exams are really important and necessary when it comes to knowledge testing. If you give exams like SAT or ACT, it can help you in self-improvement by improving your –

  • Memory
  • Confidence
  • Competitive Spirit
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Time management

Who can skip SAT exams?

If you have already taken the ACT exam and your college demands a score of either ACT or SAT, you can skip the SAT exam. Many test-flexible colleges still require testing for admission, but they are more flexible about which test scores they accept. These colleges may accept AP, IB, or other tests based on SAT or ACT scores. In this case, you may be able to skip SAT entirely as long as you can meet one of the university’s other testing requirements. 

When to submit your SAT scores and when not?

You can submit your SAT score when

  • You have scored more than 1300 on SAT exam
  • You don’t have other test scores (AP tests, ACT exams, etc.) to send
  • The college demands the SAT exam score

You should not submit SAT scores when

  • You have scored less than 1200 on the SAT exam.
  • You are confident other areas of your application (GPA, class rank, extracurriculars, etc.) make up for a lack of test scores.
  • You have other test scores (AP tests, ACT exams, etc.) in which your performance is good.

Final words

Here it can be concluded that even if your college has an optional requirement for SAT scores, it is good for the students to give the SAT exam due to the many advantages of SAT scores. If you have a good SAT score, you can outweigh your low GPA, improve your chances for admission, get considered for admission in future courses, and apply for scholarships. Due to these reasons, you must give any college-level entrance exams like SAT or the ACT.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is the SAT required for admission to the University of Florida (USF)?

Ans: For admission to USF, there is a requirement to submit the score of any college entrance exams. The score of the SAT exam can be used when you are applying to USF. If your SAT score is low, then you must retake the exam and submit your best scores. Your high SAT score can help you secure your seat at USF if your GPAs are low. You can give other exams like the ACT for admission to USF.

Q2. What are the colleges where SAT is required?

Ans: In some colleges, submission of SAT scores is an optional requirement, while some colleges may not require submission of SAT scores. Some colleges like McGill University will require you to submit SAT scores for a particular subject. Even if a college doesn’t require SAT scores for admission, you may still have to submit them to qualify for certain degree programs, so if you give the SAT exam. You will be considered for your future department.


Q3. Is SAT required for a student who has given other qualifying exams?

Ans: Some colleges may require the submission of SAT scores, while some may not. If a student has been given other exams like the ACT, then he may not be required to take the SAT, but this entire thing depends upon the college you are applying for. Also, you may submit the score of multiple exams. It should be noted that you should only submit your best scores to your admission application.

Q4. Why are some colleges dropping SAT requirements?

Ans: Many colleges are dropping SAT requirements. This is due to multiple reasons.

  • Availability of alternate exams like the ACT.
  • Due to issues and controversies with the SAT.
  • Many leading universities have made the SAT an optional requirement.

Q5. Is the SAT required for Harvard?

Ans: At Harvard university, students can apply for admission in the 2027-2030 session without standardized test scores like the ACT or SAT scores. However, submitting your SAT scores can improve your chances of admission to Harvard University.

Q6. Is SAT compulsory for international students?

Ans: The SAT and ACT have been used by many colleges to ensure that you have the critical thinking and reasoning skills you need to do well in college. For international students, submitting SAT scores is not a mandatory application requirement, but some universities may ask you for the SAT scores. However, if you are not submitting your SAT scores, you may need other supporting documents to prove your academics, like your national exam scores. 

Q7. How to send SAT scores to colleges?

Ans: SAT scores can be sent to the college while you are filling out the online application. When registering for the SAT exam, candidates are given four Score Reports without charge. After taking the test, candidates have up to nine days to send their results to colleges, after which they must spend $12 to send the results to any university or program they choose.

Is SAT Required for Your College


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