By Kevin Bryan
As junior year of highschool rolls around, students are forced to start thinking about what colleges they may be interested in. There are many components that go into the college application, including GPA and extracurriculars. However, one other component that causes a lot of stress is standardized testing, including SAT, SAT subject testing, and ACT.
Standardized testing is used by colleges to evaluate students on an even playing field. The SAT is graded on a scale of 1600, where there are two sections, reading/grammar and math, which are both out of 800 points. There is also an optional essay, where you get 50 minutes to read a passage and write a rhetorical analysis essay. The total time of the test is three hours not including the essay portion, so it will take up the entirety of the morning. In addition to the regular SAT, you also may want to take a few SAT subject tests to show your abilities in other subjects, including Biology, Chemistry, and U.S. History. These tests are also out of 800 points, but are only one hour in length.
Because SAT is such a crucial element of your college application, doing as well on the test as possible is important. Doing exercises and practice tests to prepare is important, because you will become familiar with different question types that you may encounter on the real thing. Also, getting enough sleep the night before the test is also essential for success so you have a clear mind the next day. Eating something light but filling makes sure that you have enough to get through the day, but at the same time does not make you too sleepy. Remember to bring a snack and a water bottle to the test, because your proctor will give you a break in between sections.
While taking the SAT may be stressful, remember that there are other components to your college application. While the test may be important, getting a lower score than you anticipate does not spell doom for your college future. Standardized testing can only tell the admissions office so much, so making sure the other portions of the application highlight the best aspects of yourself are just as important.