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May 17, 2020

SAT for Community College Student?

Question: I'm a 20-year-old in my second year of community college. I will be graduating next year. I have never taken my SAT's, and I'm worried that this is going to hurt me in the future. Whether it's going to a new school or a job, will not taking them affect anything serious? And can I take the SAT's now? I regret not doing them.

For better or worse, you are never too old to take the SAT's. If you plan to transfer to a 4-year college, it's possible that some of your target schools will need SAT results (or ACT results, which are also accepted wherever the SAT is required). BUT … many 4-year colleges do NOT require test scores from transfers, especially those who have earned an Associate's degree. And even if you do submit scores, your community college course selection and grades will play the starring role in your admission verdicts, not your test results (unless they are so bad … or so good … that they wave a big red flag).


It is also likely that your current school has an “articulation agreement" with one or more 4-year institutions. Such agreements either guarantee or at least facilitate a transfer for community college students who have fulfilled certain requirements. Typically these requirements include maintaining a specified GPA and taking prescribed courses (often some English, math, science … the usual suspects). So, you should talk to a transfer counselor at your school, if you have not done so already, to find out about existing articulation agreements. If any of the colleges on this list interest you, check to see if SAT's are mandatory.

If you want to give the SAT a shot, sign up here: http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/how-to-register But I wouldn't recommend taking them unless you need to … so check first.

As far as your post-college years go, there is absolutely no reason to take SAT's. Prospective employers will never ask for them (except, perhaps, if you're applying to be an SAT prep coach ;) ).

(posted 7/20/2012)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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