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What is more important your GPA or your SAT scores?

By: sopokooh
Jul 07, 2009

As your hectic high school progresses and you have two more tasks for every one you complete, your prioritizing skills are at its best but you still stay up until 2 am finishing that paper for you AP Literature class. When it comes down to it, should you invest your last 30 minutes before bed studying for a test that takes up a large portion of your test or should you study your SAT vocabulary words? Which one affects your acceptance more, your GPA or your SAT scores?
On one side of the argument, people who value diligence, consistency, and effort will say that your GPA is the accumulated report of your intelligence. It shows four years of your blood, sweat, and tears. It shows if you have been achieving your best throughout the year and is more a matter of effort than luck. Anybody can do well on one test, but a high GPA takes consistent effort.
Remember, "The SATs are three hours...your GPA is three years"
A fallback to a GPA is that schools have different difficulty levels. Many students find it quite easy to achieve a 4.0 while others in a private or more challenging school struggle to get a 3.0. Is it fair to take someone’s GPA for what it is when they might have just had easier classes? Most college admission officers will have a good idea of which schools are tough, but they will can not predict that you could have gotten straight A's if you went to a different school.
The other side of the argument believes that the fact that difficulty levels in schools are different is detrimental to the accuracy of a GPA and that the SAT, because it is a standardized test, provides the best indications to a student’s ability. Faithful supporters of the SATs stress the intelligence, assiduousness, and effort that it tests all at once. The effort a student has made to study for the test and memorize vocabulary words will show in the student’s score. The 3 hour long test is demanding and mentally and physically draining; it takes diligence and persistency to see it through.
Remember, “GPA compares you to the rest of your school. SAT compares you to the rest of the country.”
You might not have gotten the answer you wanted, since this article does not tell you which one is in fact more important, but having been informed of the pros and cons of both, use these to your benefit! If you go to a prestigious school that is respected throughout the country, your high GPA should be proof enough of your intelligence. However, if you go to a school where the not-so-bright kid next to you has a 4.0 as well, study for the SATs to set yourself apart from the rest of the 4.0ers.

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