Ever wonder why the SAT became such a big deal in the college application process? Well, colleges can’t build a reputation solely on the number and identity of the students they accept; they must usher those students through their programs and graduate them. After graduation the students must go out and do impressive things in order for the college to gain prestige.
With these things in mind, wouldn’t it be prudent for the colleges to select the best and the brightest students to display their names and logos on their clothes, cars and walls? Colleges have a lot to lose when they take a chance and accept a student that is not academically impressive. That is where the SAT and ACT exams come in.
The idea of an exam like the SAT has been around since 1901 but it took on its present format in 1926. The exam score is an indication of how well a student will perform in their freshman year of college. It also serves as a measuring stick to compare students across different districts, states, and nations.
There is a lot wrong with college entrance exams. The biggest criticism being that they provide an unfair advantage to students from wealthier homes. But, look at the admissions process from the college’s point of view. If you have a tool that is somewhat accurate in predicting how the applicants to your university will perform their first year on campus; wouldn’t you want that extra assurance that you are making a good decision by accepting them?
When the high school GPA is low and the test scores are high or vice-versa, something is out of whack. If something in the application file does not shine a light of explanation on this inconsistency, the application committees must guess at the cause. You never want admissions committees guessing about anything on your application.
Consider any item produced by man that is rated the best; it is a safe bet that they started with the best raw materials available. That is the same formula that colleges use to select their student body. Be the best or demonstrate a unique and attractive quality that causes you to stand out. All they want to know is that you have the raw materials required to become a winner.