SAT originally stood for “Scholastic Aptitude Test” but the test’s ability to measure intelligence or aptitude was questioned and in 1990 the name was changed to the “Scholastic Assessment Test.” In 1993 the name changed again, this time to the SAT Reasoning Test and the letters SAT no longer stand for anything. It is now just the S-A-T. So the S, A, & T in SAT don’t stand for anything!
Maybe I’m tired of trying to explain why one single test can carry so much weight in deciding a student’s academic future. I’ve followed the popular media debates questioning the use of standardized testing in college admission and I’ve studied the scholarly articles on test reliability, predictive value, and the need for standardized measures of academic ability. I’ve come to the conclusion the SAT is a necessary evil and I’m going to help students make the best of it.
While the SAT isn’t perfect, it still offers some value in the college admissions process. Most will agree that all high school graduates should show proficiency in the three areas tested on the SAT – reading, math, and writing. Most would also agree that a standardized test can help compare students from different geographic areas and educational backgrounds.
While the SAT still plays a major factor in admission to most universities, it doesn’t really stand for anything. The SAT doesn’t measure intelligence. It can’t accurately predict college success. It isn’t a measure of how much one has learned in school or how successful one will be in life. It is just a test.
But it’s the SAT!!! Yes. The SAT is important for admission to many colleges, but after that it loses it value. The SAT is a one-use tool. It is worth some time and attention to prepare for the SAT and maximize your scores, but the SAT shouldn’t be the focus of any student’s life.
Keep things in perspective and remember the SAT is just a test.