Colleges and universities depend on Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the other test ACT scores for deciding to which student to admit. SAT and ACT are college admission tests that are widely recognized by U.S. colleges and universities for admission.
Started in 1926, SAT originated as an intelligence level testing for potential World War I sailors and solders. First college to adopt SAT is Harvard in 1934. The West Coast favorite, the University of California adopted it in 1968 due to overwhelming number of applications from prospective students. Today more than 1.7 million prospective students take the SAT exam yearly. The non-profit College Board, a consortium of colleges, high schools and other organizations, administers the SAT. The highest possible score is 2400. ACT is growing faster than SAT and now more than 1.8 million students take the test yearly.
One of the criticisms of SAT is that it has skewed to cater to more of the rich than everyone equally. Since colleges rely on SAT or ACT, many wealthy parents send their kids to SAT and ACT preparation classes which are costlier for many. As a result, some college programs make it an optional rather than a requirement.