It’s in the back of everyone’s mind: a constant, terrifying presence. With the arrival of March comes our school’s administered SAT. The fate of your entire academic career rests on your performance during this one standardized test — to say it’s intimidating is an understatement. Oftentimes, students are already exhausted from school work, and the SAT only acts as another source of stress. So it’s no wonder that the very mentioning of this dreaded test generates panic and anxiety.
“Preparing for the SAT while trying to complete school work has been very difficult. I really feel like the SAT should be made a priority, but we are also given a lot of homework. It gets hard to find time to balance both sides, especially when they are both important for our future,” said junior Keerthana Dhulipala.
While the sheer amount of work may be daunting, it’s important to remember that having a positive and determined mindset is the first step to achieving a high score. This, along with plenty of practice and time management, is an indisputable method for those aiming for success on the SAT.
“A big part of the issue with tests like these is being all anxious and stressed out right before the test. Don’t let that happen because even if the stakes are high, it’s always helpful to go into it with confidence and a clear head,” said National Merit Scholar Amix Adai.
To prepare for the SAT, many students turn to practice tests. For the most part, the concepts being tested are already known by the students, and the only factor remaining is time. Among those who advocate this method is National Merit Scholar Caitlin Chen.
“I thought it was really beneficial to thoroughly go over and review practice tests that you’ve taken, so you can learn from your mistakes and think more analytically,” said Chen.
Others prepared by taking SAT classes, such as the ones offered by Robie Wells or Princeton Review. This method seems to be preferred by some because it provides a more structured preparation in a classroom-like setting.
“The SAT class that I took over the summer used a College Board SAT book which I thought was helpful since the questions in that book were [similar] to the questions within the test itself,” said junior Tiffany Ma.
While the SAT is important, there are many other factors that play a role in your college admission, and it is unlikely that colleges will accept a student based on their SAT score alone. Excessive stress is unnecessary — colleges are aware that there is more to an applicant than just numbers. Doing your best is more than enough. Good luck to all SHS students through the SAT season!