By Connor Hughes –
“Am I preparing for the SAT’s? No. Are they important? Yes.”
This statement from Penn Manor junior Alex Cummins may be shocking and may be a concern to SAT specialists at Penn Manor.
The Scholastic Aptitude Test is the most widely used standardized test for college admissions. The exam is created and administered by CollegeBoard. It covers three subject areas: critical reading, mathematics and writing. Students have 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam. Each section is worth 800 points, so the highest possible score is 2400 according to collegeapps.about.com.
The SAT’s are being administered at Penn Manor, March 12.
James Yearsley, a counselor at Penn Manor who does a lot of promoting for the SAT’s, says the main complaint from students is ignorance about the test and when the test is being administered.
“There are announcements throughout the entire school. To this day I still do not understand how kids don’t know when the test is. There are announcements, posters, fliers you name it,” explained Yearsley.
Once a student overcomes the ‘obstacle’ of finding out when the test is being administered in their school, the next step is signing up. Sat.collegeboard.com is the only place to sign up for the test. It costs $47 to sign up before the deadline. If you sign up after the given deadline, it will cost a student $71.
Whether this is the first time you’ll take the test, or the fourth, Yearsley says studying is essential. The SAT scores were down last year, but were up the year before and fluctuations are normal, according to Yearsley. He believes this is because kids are relying more on their natural intelligence then going to sat.collegeboard.com to study and answer practice questions.
“According to CollegeBoard, scores are based on studying and coursing. You can’t expect a good score without putting in some effort,” said Yearsley.
Gary Luft, the SAT Prep math teacher at Penn Manor, says students who take the course seriously improve their scores every time.
“Reports are, students study less than 10 hours. SAT prep (math portion) is half a semester long,” explained Luft. “The SAT is not a test you can just walk in and take. It requires some sort of preperation. ”
Andrew Herr, a junior who has taken the SAT twice and also took SAT Prep, didn’t take advice from Yearsley but agrees with Luft.
“I didn’t study at all, although SAT Prep helped me a lot. And I got lots of sleep.”
He also mentioned that you need to get excited for the test.
“Make sure you have solid pump-up music in the car ride there.”
Robert Warfel, a junior at Penn Manor, isn’t really nervous about the test.
“I did well on the PSAT’s,” said Warfel.
A pretest, a good luck sweatshirt or a favorite song could be just enough to give you the confidence boost you need to take the test and own it.