Should senior take SAT just for future reference?

My high school senior never got to take the SAT due to COVID-19 cancellations. He has already been accepted to test optional colleges for Fall 2021. My husband thinks he should still take the SAT this summer just so he has it on his record for perhaps future grad school admissions or if he wants to transfer to another college. He doesn’t plan to send the scores to any of his current colleges. What do you guys think? Is it worth taking the SAT after he has already graduated?

No. Having your son take a test at this point is waste of his time and your money.

Colleges will be care 100% about his college grades if he tries to transfer. Depending on where he tries to transfer to, they will also care about his professor recommendations. They will not require an SAT score from a student who they know may not have been able to test. They will know that this group of high school grads may not have been able to take tests. Grad schools will not be interested in his SAT.

Remind your husband that there have been test optional colleges for decades and that, increasingly, there are even more test optional colleges, many of which are very selective (U Chicago, Wesleyan, Bates, and many others.) These colleges all have high percentages of acceptance rates to grad schools.


I disagree. It is just a few hours of his time. It can come up in certain internship interviews. Why not take it and see if he does well?

Folks understand that there is a group of HS seniors who never were able to take this test.

He won’t need it for grad school…he will take the GRE or some other standardized test for that.


Of course it is not necessary. The question is, could a high score ever be useful? Most seniors have a few hours to spend on a Saturday test if they want to take that chance. There is no downside other than a minimal cost and an afternoon.
It can be a useful benchmark too. If math scores are poor, for example, the student will know he has a lot of prep work ahead if he decides to take the GMAT

I don’t see a test designed for high schoolers as being relevant to this student who is already headed to college. And as far as I know, getting jobs or internships depends on GPA, courses taken, professors recommendations and experience. I have never heard of an employer basing a hiring decision on a high school test. There may be one out there, or course. And grad schools will not care, especially given the circumstances of the pandemic, which no one is going to forget any time soon.

An afternoon of a student’s precious time is, IMO, a big waste when there will be no tangible benefit.

Graduate or professional schools will not care about SAT scores. Standardized tests, if required, will be the GRE or specific to the type of school (MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, etc.).

If he applies to transfer to another college (especially at the frosh/soph level), the college may care if SAT scores exist – but may not be so impressed with SAT scores from after high school graduation.

Some employers of college graduates supposedly ask for SAT scores, which is strange since they are basing selection of college graduate applicants on stuff from high school.

High school seniors in Spring have an enormous amount of free time, in my experience. Taking a multiple choice test in a climate controlled room for a couple of hours isn’t really onerous. Yes, my frosh daughter applying for internships this year was asked her scores several times. It is not necessary, but a nice addition to the resume if it works out well, like any other high school award or honor.

What kind of employers and job types want SAT scores from college applicants?


Thanks, all, for your thoughtful replies! I understand that the SAT is just another metric to evaluate high school students, but in my kid’s case my husband thinks the pros outweigh the cons. The pros are that he tests well in general, he may need to transfer in a couple of years if we move, and the cost/time impact is not significant. I guess the cons would be that no one even considers his score post-HS graduation, as well as the stress of taking a 3-hour test.

So if he wants to give it a try, are there any limitations in terms of age or high school status (senior, graduate, etc.)? In other words, can anyone beyond high school take the SAT?

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No one other than perhaps MENSA will ever care about his SAT score, if he has a desire to join MENSA. The only purpose of the SAT is for college admissions. There is absolutely NO reason for him to take it, at this point. He’s already been accepted to college. Should he want to transfer, it would be based upon his college transcript and recommendations from college professors. Schools to which he might want to transfer would not require an SAT, would probably not consider it.

High school for him will be over in a month or two. This ship has sailed. Total waste of time and money to take the SAT. It is as relevant to his future as the SSAT (private school entrance exam that 8th graders take) would be.

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To curb adult tutors who were taking the test repeatedly, the SAT used to have a limit of age 21 unless military or other special exception. In any event, he should take it as soon as possible to being in high school.
I know you find it surprising, @ucbalumnus, but highly quantitative roles often ask it of their college interns. Space X. Hedge funds. Some top consulting companies. I assume those posters discounting the test do not have kids applying to internships where it was asked, as of last month.

Not really understanding why this surprises anyone. Freshman interns may have at most 1 semester of college grades, and often not even that, and the courses may be Gen Ed’s of little interest to employers. Any additional info, like standard test scores, is helpful at that point.

Why would he have to transfer because you move? Even if he was living at home, I would think that he would be better off finding a new place to live.

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Never seen it in computing.

A high school standardized test covering high school math topics is unlikely to say much compared to the college courses that the student has taken. Even in the first semester, quant-oriented students who are presumably of interest to those quant-oriented employers typically have a math, statistics, computer science, or physics course or few.

I haven’t seen it in computing, either, but private equity, hedge funds, consulting, and as mentioned above, Space X asked. I can’t remember if JPL asked or not. In any event, our personal opinion on the merits of asking are not relevant; the fact remains some employers do ask, and presumably a high score is a benefit. I suppose some applicants include their score regardless of whether they are asked. I would not expect scores to be a decisive factor, but for certain highly competitive places, every little bit helps.

The timeliness for many internships has really accelerated as well. My kid did not have 1st semester grades for more than half her applications.

Can confirm. I was asked my SAT scores when I was in my 40s. By multiple companies.


Well it sounds like your husband has made up his mind and has money to spare.

I wonder which hedge funds will turn down all the test optional kids at every Ivy League school this past year, or Williams, or U Chicago or Duke or Stanford or…

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Since this thread is tagged with nyutisch-mt , that suggests that the student may be a musical theater major at NYU. Are there any possible transfer schools or employers for such a student which would want to see high school SAT scores? (Do NYU musical theater majors seek employment at hedge funds and the other examples of SAT score wanting employers?)

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