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Do universities really care about the SAT essay?

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Replies to: Do universities really care about the SAT essay?

  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2078 replies33 threads Senior Member
    Funny you ask this, as I've been looking into it over the last week or so as we went to a couple of traveling elite school admissions sessions.

    From what I've seen, most elite schools have dropped the requirement in the last couple of years. The California system (Berkley specifically, at the session we attended) seems to be the only holdout. And most other schools never had it.

    From one source I found, dated this month, there are only 19 schools that require the SAT Essay, plus the 9 in the CA system. Even the Recommended list doesn't crack 100, and it's a seemingly random hodgepodge.

    I suspect the California system will drop it in the next 1-3 years, and then College Board may drop it altogether. (Then again, they keep the Hebrew Subject Test, with fewer than 1000 takers every year, so who knows)

    Those who require it certainly care about it. Those who recommend it probably care about it a bit. But the vast majority don't seem to care at all.
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  • Racingfan53Racingfan53 157 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I don't see how the SAT Essay wouldn't go away pretty soon. Almost nobody does any prep for it, and as far as I can tell most people don't even know how to get a good score. For example, I scored 1570 composite last test sitting and a 16 on the essay. My brother has a similar score discrepancy.

    I'm glad I took it though, because one of my schools requires it--don't know why, as it's a public school with a "guaranteed admission" policy. 1300 and you're in. Brother got into UCLA and waitlisted at Berkeley with a lackluster essay score. I'm guessing it's not a huge deal.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10414 replies574 threads Super Moderator
    If they require or recommend it, they care, but probably not so much that it’s going to hugely hurt or help you. I suppose a 10 out of 24 might not look great to a school like Cal. Not many schools require or recommend it.

    The issue is that if you decide to apply to a college that requires or recommends it, you can’t do it apart from the test, so unless your list is set in stone, it’s a good idea to take it just in case. Same for ACT with writing.
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