Why is the SAT So Crucial?
The answer is very obvious. The best colleges always have been choosing students with outstanding SAT scores. However, the need to achieve high SAT scores became even more important due to the higher number of highly qualified college applicants.
Why are there so many people applying to college?
To explain this question, we need to examine the United States history. Before, World War II, only a handful of rich or smart students had thought about going to college.. However, things began to change after World War II in 1945. After tens of thousand of GIs came home, there were not enough jobs for everyone. So, the government introduced what was known as the GI Bill which allowed veterans to get a college education through government grants. Hence, a college education became more accessible after 1945. Then when the children of these veterans (the baby boomers) became old enough to go to college, it was almost natural for them to consider college as a viable option. Now, the children of the baby boomers are applying to colleges in a greater number than ever before. The swelling population of 18-year-olds is not supposed to peak until 2009, when the largest group of high school seniors in the nation’s history, 3.2 million, are to graduate.
Higher number of better qualified applicants
Because of the increased competition to get into a “dream college,” students are trying harder than ever before to make their applications stand out. This means that students are taking more AP courses, and engaging in more extracurricular activities. Twenty years ago, taking two or three AP courses would have been sufficient to apply to the top tiered schools. But now students need to take at least 4-5 AP courses just to feel safe.
A higher SAT score is the key
These days, not even a perfect 2400 score on the SAT will guarantee a place in a prestigious Ivy League School like Harvard or Yale. In fact, Harvard rejected 1,100 student applicants with perfect 800 scores on the SAT math exam. Yale rejected several applicants with a perfect 2400 scores on the SAT. However, taking AP courses and committing yourself to extraordinary extracurricular activities takes years of effort and preparation. If you're a junior or senior without outstanding academic achievements, the only chance you have of getting into your dream college is to attain the best possible scores on the SAT. And even if you're only a freshman or sophomore, think about your competitors who are burning the midnight oil so that they can get the elusive perfect 2400 scores on the SAT. In truth, unless you're a genius, it takes years of preparation to score very high on the SAT.