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Super Stressful SAT

Posted 04/22/2022 by EADAIR

Students have stressed over the SATs for years - but there are some changes on the horizon. photo courtesy of iStock

How serious is the SAT, and how can students have the best chance to receive the best score?

Every single junior in high school across the country has to take the SAT or the ACT. These eleventh graders spend most of their school year studying, but do the SAT providers ever tell you how to study for this test? The test has been set up the exact same way each year with two English sections and two Math sections. This leads me to my main question: how, after all these years of this test, is it still hard for students to prepare adequately? What ways are there to make test preparation easier? 

To start, this test varies year to year. Even with students required to take two years of PSATs as freshmen and sophomores it is still hard for students to receive a 4 digit score. According to, 40% of SAT test takers receive a score lower than 1,000. Junior Andrew Burns reflected on the test by saying, “The questions were pretty easy. I just did not use the time well enough.” The SAT is nearly a 200 minute test. If a student opted to complete the essay portion, the test becomes nearly four hour exam. Burns also stated, “I would have studied more on the reading and English section more than anything else.” 

As a test taker on the SAT, I would suggest to be careful with how much you study the content and equally prepare in test taking skills. By studying more test-taking skills to find the right answer based on patterns and old SATs, I was more likely to earn extra points without knowing the content.  I also had to understand how much time I could use per question for all four sections of the test. By implementing time management strategies, the test becomes exponentially less stressful. To put it simply, the SAT is an important test and you should try and do the best you can do on the SAT, but the most important thing to remember is that the score you receive does not define you. Also, it’s very important to be confident and never second guess yourself. The more you second guess yourself, the more likely you are to get the question wrong. As a junior in high school with fewer colleges requiring SAT scores, I will look forward to seeing how much the SAT will affect a student’s academic career moving forward.