How Much Do SAT Scores Matter? (A Paradox)


You’ve probably heard this before, but I’ll say it again: 10 points on the SAT (or, basically one question) isn’t going to make or break your college chances. Really.

Also: a mother recently told me that her son missed the cut off for merit aid (in other words thousands of dollars) by just 10 points.

So, do SAT scores matter?

Think of the old holy man who kept a piece of paper in each pocket.

One piece of paper read: “I am the dust of the earth.”

The other: “I am the reason God created the universe.”

In essence: the SAT matters a lot.

Or not at all.


Written by Ethan Sawyer – In addition to being the College Essay Guy, Ethan is a writer, teacher, speaker, and voice actor. He has worked at Elite since 2003 is also the coordinator for the Elite Community Scholars Program, a program very close to his heart. You can email him at The views expressed in this blog post are Ethan's and don't necessarily reflect those of Elite Educational Institute.

Posted on December 11, 2013 and filed under SAT, Resources.