The Breakdown on the SATs

Every year juniors and seniors at CB South take part in what is arguably the biggest test of their lives, also known as the SATs.

The SATs are a college admission test, and colleges use its results to compare students’ abilities. The test assesses the skills that students are already learning in school. These skills are beneficial for the success of the students in college and beyond.

The SATs begin at 8am and end around 1pm. Testing days are October 5, November 2, December 7, January 25, March 8, May 3 and June 7.

There are three major sections: critical reading, math, and writing, with 25 minutes for each section.

Mrs. Ladley, a junior guidance counselor, said that it would be helpful to complete both Algebra 2 and geometry before taking the test. However, College Board does not have specific requirements.

Mrs. Ladley also said there is no such thing as a passing grade on the SATs. Students must use their aspired colleges as guides to see if they have a sufficient score. However, if students are unsatisfied with their scores then they are allowed to retake the SATs.

“You’re allowed as many as you want. But we don’t recommend you to do more than three retries. What you know is what you know,” said Mrs. Ladley.

Over the years, Mrs. Ladley has seen kids face many problems while taking the SATs. She’s seen kids face “disappointment in scores, unrealistic expectations, test anxiety and poor time management.”

She also said the best thing to do before you take the SATs is to familiarize yourself with the test format and questions. Eprep and College Board both offer practice questions that are familiar to the actual test. Also, it is helpful to take the PSATs.

Another way is by studying hard over a long period of time. Students tend to cram everything in at the last minute, and it doesn’t have any effect on what they remember. Instead, study over a long period of time.

Amanda Forman, a junior at CB South, said that she is preparing for the SATs by taking classes and studying a lot, even though she isn’t taking the SATs until the spring.

Bhaskari Budhavarapu, a senior at CB South who already took the SATs, offered some advice to students who are going to take the SATs soon. “I would say to keep practicing the problems and get a good night’s sleep the day before. Eprep is good way to practice.”

Mrs. Ladley also offers some of her advice. “Prepare early. Don’t get anxious. Focus on skills instead of the score. SATs aren’t everything when it comes to college admissions.”