Sick And Tired – A Test-prep Nightmare

Sick And Tired - A Test-prep Nightmare

Valerie Kress, Features Editor

Elementary School: “I heard this rumor that you can get into college if you take one test?!?”

Middle School: “So.. like what’s this SAT thing I’m hearing about? Do I reeeeaaally have to take it?”

Ninth Grade: “Wow this thing is for real. Ehhhh, I have time. I don’t need to care yet.”

Eleventh Grade: “So this test actually matters… Ugh, I wish I’d started studying earlier.”

And then senior year comes. And you realize that you’ve put off caring for too long and now your SAT is this weekend. Winging it crosses your mind. Then the actual seriousness of this one test sets in.

You’re out of time.

As much as you try to convince yourself that colleges consider grades and extracurriculars and all that nonsense FIRST, “Some colleges really are that superficial,” said English teacher and SAT tutor Mr. Malossi. “They will actually use SAT scores to eliminate thousands before even going on to the rest of the applications. It’s brutal mathematics.”

On top of the four hours of homework I have every night, I’m expected to now include studying for my SAT? I must drop everything in order to wholeheartedly prepare for this test? However, remember this: as annoying as it is, had I studied for the SAT sooner, I wouldn’t be as frantic as I am now.

I get it: you don’t want to listen to adults telling you to study, especially for a test that is rumored to be “impossible” to study for. I hate to say it, fellow teenager, but you’re actually wrong this time. To be completely honest, you should’ve started studying way back when you took the PSAT sophomore year.

“I had so many other things going on. It just didn’t seem like a priority at the time,” said BHS senior Kelsey McGuggart. “Now I’m stuck.”

“Impossible to study for?” I can disprove that immediately. By studying common SAT words, you are guaranteeing that you will get most of the fill-in-the-blank questions right in the critical reading section, considering they reuse most of their words. The critical reading is one of the most important sections and is not easy. It takes actual FOCUS and TIME and THINKING (it sounds awful, believe me, I know.) And even though the SAT is changing, they are still testing vocabulary in context.

As for math, by getting an SAT review book and simply practicing questions, you become exposed to how the creators word their questions, and the bizarre math lessons you’ve never learned before.

Yes, this is a standardized test. Yes, it has things on it that you may have never learned. No, it does not showcase who you are as a student. But yes, you can study for it and you should. This test does not tell anything about you as a student, and as much as it should not be, it is a huge factor in your college decision. So start practicing, start reading. It just might determine your future, after all.