Students prepare for upcoming SATs


photo by Grace Willis

Study books similar to those seen here, pile up on students desks as the SAT gets closer. Many of these books come packed with full length practice tests which are a great study method for some.

Part of the reason why a student’s junior year of high school is coined as the most challenging is because of the intense workload topped with standardized tests such as the SAT. The SAT is a test, which students begin to take and prepare for in their junior year.

The SAT is three hours long and consists of reading, language, and math sections. It is graded on a 1600 point scale, with 700 possible points in reading and language and 700 possible points in math.

With a majority of colleges still remaining test-optional from the Covid-19 pandemic, this can change the SAT mindset for many students.

“The new test-optional rule in place makes me want to utilize the SAT to stand out on college applications, especially if many students are choosing not to submit theirs,” junior Natalie Krensky said.

On the other hand, the policy has also decreased some students’ desires to do well on the test.

“I don’t really care how I do because most schools are test optional, so I really have no motivation to study,” junior Natalie South said.

Those who choose to take the exam exploit different methods of studying, from personal tutors, to classroom sessions, to online websites. With so many options, students are able to choose a study plan that best maximizes their score.

“I originally studied in a prep class but it didn’t work out for me and my scores did not improve, I then got a personal tutor and my scores have gone up,” junior Hadley Brown said.

Also embedded in juniors’ SAT agenda, the PSAT is a practice exam used to find a set point and study accordingly. Students are given an opportunity to take the PSAT for free through their school.

“I’ve taken the PSAT, and my scores were not awful, but I know that I can do better if I apply myself,” Krensky said.

Oftentimes, peers, friends and family create pressure on students to not only get into top colleges, but to also get a high score on the test.

“My mother keeps putting pressure on me to prepare but it doesn’t phase me,” junior Sage Crittenden said.

Though these feelings of intense pressure and stress can be burdensome, students still have their own views on whether or not the SAT is really a valuable aspect of the college application process.

“We all are intelligent in our own ways and a singular test doesn’t demonstrate an accurate representation of everyone’s intelligence,” junior Eva Griebl said.