Juniors prepare for SAT to strengthen college transcripts

The Wellness Day schedule on Mar. 22 provided activities after the free SAT. Students can register for SAT tests on College Board.

Image courtesy Wootton website

The Wellness Day schedule on Mar. 22 provided activities after the free SAT. Students can register for SAT tests on College Board.

It’s your junior year: You’ve been working hard for several months, opening your review once again. Or, you’ve been going to SAT prep, working with other students with a common goal: Get the highest score you can possibly get. The reason may be to see what you’ve got or a nice thing to add to your college application. Whatever the reason, you are preparing for the SAT on a Wednesday.

It’s junior year and it’s almost spring, meaning the pressure for college searching and the need for higher grades increases. The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test), run by the College Board, is one of those pressure elements. “The purpose of the SAT is to measure a high school student’s readiness for college, and provide colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants,” the Princeton Review said.

Though some colleges don’t require the SAT, students still are studying for the three-hour test as a way to enhance their applications. “Some schools require it and it’s always good to have a test score for college applications,” junior Abigail Perry said.

Due to higher chances of getting into a college with the SAT, students have looked to websites like Khan Academy or review books like the Princeton Review to study. Additionally, students take prep SAT classes that can be one-on-one or with a small group of students. “I took a four- hour course each Saturday and Sunday for like four to five weeks,” junior Troy Bailey said.

On Mar. 22, the school hosted a free SAT for juniors. Only juniors had to attend school from 7:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m., since that is when the SAT was. Students were allowed to stay for a Wellness Day or go home. “I got some food with my friends and then I went to a track meet,” Bailey said.

Because the SAT is a U.S.-based test, it is new to international students. Junior Nomahlubi Xaba, a South African student who came to this school in April of 2022, has a unique perspective on the SAT. “Back where I’m from we don’t have the SAT. I just want to see what happens. Colleges don’t need it. I’m doing it for the American experience,” Xaba said.

Xaba said she studied through Khan Academy after it was suggested by friends and the internet. Xaba also stayed for the Wellness Day, where students could pick two activities. “I did the Bob Ross and color, and I signed for Disney Kahoot, but ended up watching Black Panther instead,” Xaba said.

Preparing for the SAT can be stressful as it takes time. Juniors are working hard to improve their college transcripts in preparation for college. “I took a practice test every day, like I practiced a section of that test and went over it with my teachers. Honestly, it helped a lot. I saw an improvement in my scores, but it was really painful,” Bailey said.

According to the Princeton Review, College Board offers the SAT every year in August October November December March May and June. Therefore, juniors are still able to work on their SAT scores through the rest of the year as they push through to senior year and onto college.