Student of Color Perspectives: SAT Woes


Hi! I’m Naomie Shembo and I will be one of your first-year bloggers for Students of Color Perspectives. I blog about what it’s like the be #Black@Brown, in order to give some insight on what it is like to be a student of color here!

So, earlier today (a Friday afternoon when I definitely should have been studying) I was in my friend’s room and we started talking about the SATs. Now, SAT scores are kind of a taboo subject once you get to college because honestly no one wants to hear about how you got a perfect score on the math section – we all ended up at the same school. But, there’s definitely another dimension to SAT/ACT scores once you get to Brown, because you kind of forget how smart everyone around you actually is. High school and standardized testing seems so far away that you just forget that your classmates probably did pretty darn well.

My friend and I were talking about how are scores kind of paled in comparison to our wealthier and non-POC friends. I think, for a hot second, we were kind of questioning if we were meant to be here. After all, our friends’ scores were pretty impressive. But after more discussion, she and I realized that we did the absolute best we could with the cards we were dealt.

Brown, just like any school, knows there’s always a story behind the scores. Not everyone can afford personal tutors or SAT prep classes, and that’s okay. I ended up where I was supposed to be regardless of the fact that I didn’t get any specialized help in terms of studying for the tests (it was me just me and study book).

SAT/ACT scores are NOT the end-all-be-all. I think it’s really easy for minority students to  feel we are second best because the people around us are doing (what seems like) stellar in terms of standardized tests. We deserve to be at these elite colleges just as much as the next kids, and we really can’t forget that. So please PLEASE, don’t psych yourself out over applying to Brown (or any school) about these (what you will one day realize are) silly scores. You are just as worthy for an acceptance, and it will happen for you.

Until next week,

Naomie Shembo

I am always here if you have any questions or just want to learn more about Brown! Just email me at and I will get back to you ASAP.


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