SATs Bring Unwanted Stress

Katherine Riordan

Staff Writer

The SAT’s, commonly known as Standardized Aptitude Tests, are coming up on March 14th, May 2nd and June 6th! According to the College Board, “The SAT and SAT Subject Tests are designed to assess your academic readiness for college. These exams provide a path to opportunities, financial support, and scholarships, in a way that’s fair to all students.” They are also the major stressors of juniors and seniors applying to college, since almost all colleges require it for admissions. When asked about the upcoming SATs, Maddy Flader, Junior, said, “I’m really nervous for it because it basically determines if I’ll get into a good college.”

The SAT tests your knowledge of math, reading and writing, which is is broken up into three categories. The math portion of the SAT includes questions on arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability. The critical reading section requires reading passages and sentence completions. The writing section includes answering multiple choice questions on identifying errors and on improving grammar and usage. It also includes writing a short essay.

Preparing for the SATs can be very stressful and time consuming. The most effective way to prepare for the test is to take practice tests. College Board provides a book named “The Official SAT Study Guide”, which contains ten official practice tests and practice essay questions. Setting a daily study routine is also proven to be very helpful. Also, cramming for the exam is not recommended and will only cause more stress.

Katya Furda, Junior, said, “I’m preparing by taking SAT prep courses and utilizing online practice tests.” CT Speed School and First Choice College offers courses right here in Milford, CT. There are multiple sites that provide free SAT practice tests that are easily accessible.

Some people may not score well in some sections as others and that is normal. In order to get the best possible score you can on each section, it is helpful to break them each up individually to study for. It also really helps to know the structure of the test. The way that the multiple choice portion is set up is that the questions are in ascending order from easiest to hardest. So spend your time making sure you get the easier questions correct and tackle the hard questions if time remains. Rushing through the test to get to the hardest questions will have a negative impact on your score. Also, if you answer the easier questions correctly first; it will allow you to be able to skip or guess the answers without it impacting your score too much. However, keep in mind that the SAT doesn’t give points for questions you do not answer and they give partial credit for wrong answers.

The SAT may be very stressful and time consuming but remember to relax and breathe. If you don’t get a score you like, you can always take it over again. Colleges only accept your best SAT scores, so it will not be the end of the world if you got a bad score on your first time taking the test. Study hard and good luck on the test!


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