Upperclassmen Decide Whether or Not to Take the SAT


Screenshot from the CollegeBoard

Students question whether or not to register for the SAT.

Sara Riley Kight, Staff Writer

2020 has brought a litany of issues with education, especially for new high schoolers, those who are graduating, and those preparing for college. Students have been hearing of the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the SAT, since elementary school, and now that it’s time to take the exam for themselves, many are unsure of how to begin.


With college in her sights, Kempsville High School Junior Keely Patton knew that the SATs would be an important part of the application process. However, she’s not received much helpful information so far.


“I was planning on taking [the SAT] this year so that I had time to retake it if needed,” said Patton, “but I feel like we’re being left in the dark.”


Patton isn’t alone in this sentiment.


“I honestly don’t know much information on registering,” said Sophomore Lauren Miller. “I don’t feel like I’m learning anything.”


Like Patton and Miller, many students have been beefing up their math and language skills for this year’s SATs. Still, a high percentage of students are not planning on taking the test at all for a variety of reasons.


One reason is the COVID-19 pandemic that has brought on all sorts of new challenges for schools, students, and the world in general. The disruption of the education system has broken down communications between teachers and students, causing the latter to miss valuable information and resources about the future, including college prep and SAT details.


A lot of students aren’t taking the test simply because it seems unnecessary or overhyped.


Miranda Ramos, a senior, said, “[They’re] not required for the colleges I’m applying to, and why stress about it if you don’t have to?”


Tina Elfilali, @bte_30103 on Instagram

Tina Elfilali, a senior, similarly said, “I don’t think I need to; most schools are not requiring it.”


In fact, a few college students who did take the test would say Ramos and Elfilali are correct in their assumptions. Brian Blair, a Junior at Christopher Newport University, took his SAT in 2017. Looking back on it now, he said, “I think it’s an overgeneralized test that doesn’t offer ways to engage students on a broader scale.”


Shelby Alphin, a 2019 Kempsville grad and current junior at Old Dominion University, believed the SATs didn’t help her in the slightest, stating that “it was just for college applications… it’s literally sixth-grade questions about English and math.”

Shelby Alphin, @shelbyalphin on Instagram

Even so, many students are dead set on taking the SAT for the sake of their futures. Virna Zhang, a junior whose end goal is college, pointed out the score expectations for higher education.


“I’m applying to competitive universities,” she said. “They’ll probably want an SAT score.”


Alayna Mozingo held a similar outlook.


“It looks good on college applications,” said Mozingo, “and all the colleges I want to go to are looking for high SATs.”


Another junior, Sydney Alphin, spoke about the uncertainty of this year’s SATs: “I feel lost and extremely unprepared for the tests. However, I’m going to take them anyways because I know it will be something colleges will look at when I apply so I feel it might be a determining factor as to where I can be accepted.”


Sydney Alphin, @sydney.maya on Instagram

Adequately explaining a common complaint amongst the rising college students of Kempsville, Alphin went on to say, “I just wish life was normal, and I could go to school where they could be of more help to me and answer my questions regarding everything this year.”