Why should I take the SAT?

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The "1300+ Club" bulletin board located outside the main office

The "1300+ Club" bulletin board located outside the main office

Angel Kontra, Editor

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Applying for colleges can be a nerve-wracking experience for many; graduation no longer seems miles away, and decisions regarding the future must be made in what seems like a moment. Along with balancing the typical demands of high school, students must now find time to make college visits, complete multitudes of paperwork, and meet standardized test score requirements for their top institutions.  

One such standardized test that is used by- and sometimes even required by- colleges and universities is the infamous SAT. The test is approximately three hours in length and includes two sections of math and evidence-based reading questions. With the addition of the optional essay, the test is extended by fifty minutes. The test fee without the essay amounts to $46 and with the essay becomes $60. The highest score possible to obtain on the test is a 1600, and the optional essay is graded separately on a scale from 1-8.  

The SAT may seem like another unnecessary and expensive test; however, in the eyes of colleges and universities, the test can be a determining factor in acceptance. The test provides an opportunity to display academic strengths, areas of interest, and overall preparedness to tackle higher-level work. Additionally, the test can help institutions place students in courses that best compliment their abilities.  

There are multiple outlets available that provide assistance to those planning to take the test. The College Board offers daily fifteen-minute long review online, the Princeton Review website is dedicated to helping students achieve the score they desire, and review books are available for purchase on multiple platforms.  

Here at Calvert High School, exceptional scores are recognized with the “1300+ Club.” After receiving results, CHS Principal Secretary Mrs. Julie Andrewlevick, displays the names and photographs of those students who score within range.  

A brief interview with some of the club’s members gives insight into how to achieve desired scores and have the best testing experience.   

Senior Dominic Fiore reveals he utilized online tools to prepare for challenging content. “I practiced a lot on Khan Acadamy, so I could improve in the areas I wasn’t strong in,” said Fiore.  

In addition to preparing to encounter strenuous material, it is important to select the “right” test. Senior Gabi Backus said, “… I wish I had done research to see if the college I want to go to wanted the essay or not; it was kind of a waste of time to do.” Moreover, students should ensure the test they are taking meets the requirements of their colleges of choice.  

Aside from intellectual preparation, it is important to be ready both physically and mentally. “The morning of the test I woke up a little earlier to ensure I was wide awake and ate a breakfast sandwich for energy. During the test, I tried to answer all the questions I knew, and then went back to the one’s I didn’t. Anytime I was stressed about a problem, I would sit back and tell myself to calm down before continuing,” said Senior Megan Galvin.  

If a college degree is something desired by students in the future, it is highly recommended the SAT is a stepping-stone along the way. Registration for the test can be completed online through CollegeBoard or in-person in the CHS guidance office. For more information about taking the SAT and achieving satisfactory scores visit princetonreview.com or collegeboard.org.  

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