Juniors Reflect on Stress and Smarts: Their Thoughts on the March SAT

By: Fateha Syed

The first SAT of 2023 was taken by many Mt. Hebron students on Saturday March 11, 2023, all with a like goal: to do the best they possibly can. While some colleges are now SAT optional or blind for the future, some have reverted back to required results. This being said, students are determined to take it and get a good score to increase their chances of attending elite colleges. For the junior class, March signals the beginning of the college admissions process, one they’ll be in for a while — and with the SAT at the helm, stress and anxiety among students is high.

“While taking the SAT, I felt very anxious and nervous but I tried my best to calm myself down and just relax. I’ve been going to tutoring sessions at C2 to study and I go twice a week so that definitely helped me be more prepared for the test.”

Alongside Antwi, Mt. Hebron junior Delaney Benson also took the SAT for the first time. 

“I feel like I felt more confident on some parts of the SAT than the others. I definitely think if I took practice tests I would’ve felt more prepared to take it.”

The SAT consists of 3 separate tests: reading, math, and writing/language. The total duration of the test is 180 minutes with 65 minutes for reading, 35 minutes for writing, and 80 minutes allotted for math. For some students, this is enough time to read, understand, and answer all the questions in the section. While for others, it is difficult and time-consuming. Antwi expressed her concern about this matter.

“I think one of the biggest things I would change about the SAT is the amount of time that you get, especially in the reading section, because it is very long and can be a disadvantage for some people who have trouble reading,” she stated.

Agreeing with Antwi, Balasubramanian stated “I would make it shorter because I think the same skills could be assessed with fewer questions in a shorter test. Some kids aren’t able to perform the best when under pressure and put on a time crunch. By doing this, kids will feel less stressed and be able to perform their best while taking the test.”

One might argue that the time restraint is part of what’s being tested, and students’ ability to problem solve with speed is valuable in and of itself. If bad scores are a reality though, students can take the SAT as many times as they want until they achieve their preferred score. Using this in a positive way, students can take the SAT and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. They are then able to use that information and try to strengthen the areas they need to improve on — and even super score by combining best results in the two sections. 

“I do plan on taking the SAT again because I feel like it’s good to see your score improve and if there’s any chance you can super score it by doing better in another category over the other I think you should take it,” said Antwi.

Regardless of whether colleges make the SAT optional, students are still determined to try their best and get a good score on it. Juniors have a long road ahead of them regarding the college application process, and it’s a rather stressful one at that.

Categories: Features, Hebron News

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