The College Board, distributor of the SAT and AP tests among other examinations, will be changing the way in which SAT scores for both the SAT Reasoning test and SAT subject tests (SAT IIs) will be reported. This change is effective for the class of 2010 and onwards and will be implemented starting in March, 2009.
The new change will allow students to now choose and submit scores from their best SAT sitting, as in scores from any one test take, and their best individual SAT II scores to colleges. Consequently, the change will remove the ability of colleges to determine which scores to accept, as many choose the best individual section (math, reading and writing) scores from the range of Reasoning SAT tests a student has taken.
This decision is also meant to make the SAT reception uniform among all colleges, public and private alike.
The reason for this change is explained by the College Board website (http://www.collegeboard.com).
“Designed to reduce student stress and improve the test-day experience, the College Board has approved Score Choice, and important change to the current SAT score-reporting policy,” the website said. “This [change] will allow students to put their best foot forward on test day by giving them more flexibility and control over their scores.”
In addition, any scores received prior to 2010 will be subject to the same rule.
Despite the intentions of the College Board, some do not believe that the change will be beneficial. Kristen Joseph, the College/Career Counselor, disagrees with the College Board and thinks that the change will in fact be detrimental to students.
“I feel, and so do most colleges, that students should let [their test scores] all go to the colleges and let the colleges decide,” Joseph said. “[The new policy] may put students at a detriment. It’s much less of a headache if students just let the colleges decide the scores they want.”
According to Joseph, the University of California (UC) system is also opposed to the policy change.
In addition, many students feel that the new policy is unnecessary.
“I don’t think it’s necessary since most colleges look at your highest score anyways,” senior Natalie Kwong said.
Despite this, other students are pleased by the opportunity to determine which scores colleges are able to view.
“I think it’s nice to be able to choose what the colleges see and don’t see, especially if you don’t do so hot for one test but study really hard and get a better score on the next one,” junior Sarah Loebner said.
The new policy, in contrast to the old one, does allow a greater sense of freedom when it comes to applying to colleges, as students are able to determine which scores are submitted.
“It’ll definitely give students an advantage to send scores that appeal to them because if they get a bad score, then they have the opportunity not to send it to colleges,” senior Gouichi Tanaka said.
The policy change will not affect the Class of 2009. However, the Class of 2010 and onwards will have this added element to their application process.