Colleges Drop SAT Writing – Absolutely Ridiculous!

I am flabbergasted as I stare at the computer screen.

“University of Missouri offers immediate admittance to journalism honors program with a math/verbal SAT score of 1220 or higher.”

I read it again and again to make sure I haven’t been mistaken, but sure enough, it’s true. The writing section doesn’t count.

University of Missouri isn’t the only college to do this, too. In fact, they are one in a huge coalition of universities, including Washington State University, Embry Riddle, MIT, Harvard, and Smith, that puts little to no emphasis on the writing score.

It was the essay that did it. Ever since the writing section was added to the SAT in 2005, the essay has been controversial.

Colleges don’t think this is an accurate representation of how well a person can write. The essay score is indistinguishable from the rest of the writing section, questions on grammar and usage and vocabulary. Because they couldn’t discount just the essay, colleges are throwing out the writing section all together.

I think this is absolutely ridiculous.

I’m not just saying that because I scored higher on my writing SAT than math or reading. I really think that if there’s one section that should always be counted, it’s the writing.

Colleges say the essay is ‘unfair’ because some people can’t write quickly. Well, I can’t do math quickly, and no one’s throwing out the math section. Writing quickly, at least, is a necessary skill.

College is about preparing you for real life, and there’s no such thing as a profession where you don’t need to write. Scientists write reports, business people write for correspondence… No matter what field of study, writing is always important, whether it’s a research paper or a well-punctuated email.

In the workplace, these things have to be written rather quickly. Taking days to compose an email because of outlining, drafting, and proofreading just isn’t allowed. The SAT essay is an excellent indicator of how well a person can write quickly.

The essay also shows how well a person can write without any help. On college admission essays, an applicant has months to work on it, with teachers and parents and tutors reading it and correcting it. This can’t be an accurate picture of what that applicant writes like when they are the only ones writing. The SAT gives that perspective.

And it’s not just the essay that they’re throwing out. It’s the whole writing section, which demonstrates proper understanding of grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary.  In protest of the essay, colleges don’t care how well a person can write anymore.

Hypocritically, they don’t care about the writing section of the ACT . On the ACT, one is given a similar writing prompt and given thirty minutes to write about it. That’s only five minutes more than on the SAT, but no one is protesting the ACT writing. This is just more proof that the case against the SAT writing section is ridiculous.

Collegeboard recently did a study that shows that, of all the sections in the SAT, the writing is the most predictive of college performance. That makes sense. If someone is unable to write, that person probably isn’t going to do too well in college.

Due to this study, a few of the protesting universities are beginning to reintegrate the writing section into their admission process.  Hopefully more people will get over the obstinate rejection of the writing.