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Juniors to take SAT in school, without optional essay

Sophie Call, Staff Writer

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On March 2, juniors will sit down and take the SAT as their standardized test graduation requirement. However, if they’re planning on applying to a number of colleges, this SAT sitting won’t be valid.

The new SAT functions much like the ACT always has –– a set of required sections, with an optional essay. Many schools, from Emory to Claremont McKenna College to Harvard will require this essay, and the free SAT offered by the state of Connecticut isn’t paying for students to sit it.

“It’s unfair,” Claire Meehan ’17 said. “It’s unfair that we have to take the test and then can’t use it.”

The state-sponsored SAT is replacing the SBAC, which was abandoned after low participation rates and a growing worry among parents about the over-testing that happens during junior year, between the college-entrance standardized tests, AP exams and the state-run standardized test required for graduation.

Gov. Dannel Malloy announced in an interview with the New York Times in August that using the SAT will help cut down the “tremendous amount of pressure concentrated in a single year,” but what he opted out of the essay section that many students will need to take, making  many students have to take the SAT over again.

“Practically all my schools required the writing part,” Susie Zec ’16 who took the ACT last year said. “It really shouldn’t be options, just because so many schools want it.”
“I honestly don’t know why the writing isn’t offered on the March 2nd SAT,” Patrick Micinilio, the junior class’ vice principal said. “I do know that this is only the first year of the state-mandated SAT so there are lots of kinks that need to be worked out.”

Colleges reflect that sense of not being quite sure of what to do with the new SAT, so while multiple colleges require or highly recommend the essay section, others are more lenient on the juniors.

“We will not be requiring the essay for this junior class,” Chloe Sigillito, an admissions counselor for Fordham, said. She noted that they weren’t sure if this would change for upcoming years, but for now, juniors submitting the SAT they take in school would be fine.

For some students however, the confusion surrounding the SAT is just too much.

“I’m just going to start studying for the ACT,” Natalie Pentlow ’17 said.

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Juniors to take SAT in school, without optional essay