Mandatory SAT creates controversy, disagreement from Staples juniors


Graphic by Julia Leitner '23

On March 24, all Staples juniors will participate in the SAT, despite the fact that many are regularly studying and taking the ACT.

On Thursday, March 24, all Staples juniors are obligated to take the in-school SAT as a statewide graduation requirement. The Department of Education created this requirement in 2015 as an approach to minimize the amount of standardized tests given to juniors. They decided to replace old statewide tests with one that is usually already taken by students for their college applications. 

This bill was additionally passed as a cost friendly option for students that cannot otherwise afford to pay for these college entry tests. These tests are entirely free for students. 

While these reasons pose as large upsides to this shift in testing, many students are frustrated with the SAT being mandated, as they feel it is unnecessary to spend four hours testing when they have been preparing for a different style test. These are the students taking the ACT for college. 

“I am not the biggest fan of the SAT being mandated because I am taking the ACT and not personally benefiting from this opportunity of taking it at school,” Shannon Lynch ’23 said. 

Additionally, many students wish that both the SAT and ACT could be offered by the school to provide both tests for students in a cost efficient way.

I am not the biggest fan of the SAT being mandated because I am taking the ACT and not personally benefiting from this opportunity of taking it at school

— Shannon Lynch '23

“I think that the ACT is better suited for some learners, so to make students take the SAT when they are already taking the ACT is pointless,” Pia Dottori ’23 said. “They would have to study for more tests than is necessary and it would just overall be more beneficial if they kept the requirement but just provided students with an option.”

While many ACT students are feeling frustrated and as if their time is being wasted, others have a more optimistic view to this testing. 

“I have heard of people studying for the ACT and focusing on it for a while, and then taking the school SAT and doing better on that test,” Lila Botur ’23  said. “So even though I don’t really want to take the test, I’m kind of hoping that I do well and surprise myself.” 

Despite the fact that the SAT is a foreign test to students that have been taking the ACT, it may act as a wake up call that the SAT is better suited for them. 

“I’ve never even taken the SAT other than the practice ones we did in freshman and sophomore year,” Botur said. “So maybe the test will be beneficial to me going forward.”

In addition to the SAT being a new test to ACT students, it is also a new test for regular SAT takers. This test will be the first digital SAT to be administered, providing students with a whole other obstacle. 

“I’m not prepared to take the SAT, nor am I prepared to take a standardized test on the computer, so I feel like there is little hope for me to do well on this test,” Max Fleisch ’23 said. 

Despite frustration with this requirement, all students will have to complete this SAT to ensure that they are on the route to graduate.