Courtesy of College Board

The week juniors have been awaiting since August is finally over. After spending hundreds of dollars on tutoring and countless hours preparing, many first-time test takers have finally been able to put their knowledge to the test in the free, in-school March 6 SAT.  

The SAT, or Scholastic Assessment Test, was first taken by students in 1926. “The test was intended to assess aptitude for learning rather than the received knowledge tested on the ‘College Boards,’” according to the Manhattan Review. Today, the test is used to determine how ready students are for college.

Many students have SAT tutors who help them become proficient in each subject, one being math teacher Olive Bryan, who founded and currently directs Excelsior College Planning, a tutoring organization for high school students. According to the website, “[The Excelsior College Planning tutors] offer a personalized service that will guide the student and the family through a confusing college admissions process. We demystify the system and work with students to apply to desirable colleges.” Check out last year’s article on Ms. Bryan for more information.

While The College Board is considered a nonprofit, many are wary of the standardized testing industry. David Coleman, the president of The College Board, thinks SAT prep service companies are “predators who prey on the anxieties of parents and children and provide no real educational benefit.” With that being said, many students, such as visual junior Charlene Mbaeri, prefer to study on their own because of personal preferences or financial reasons.

“I studied for the SAT because not only is it one of the most determining factors in what college you get into, but, personally, I wanted to improve and hopefully reach my goal of getting into the 1400 range,” Mbaeri said.

The highest ranking and most esteemed colleges, such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton tend to accept students with SAT scores closer to 1600, while less esteemed colleges will take a variety of scores. With that being said, many colleges are introducing test-optional admissions, in which standardized tests aren’t required to be admitted. Such colleges include the University of Chicago, Bowdoin College, Wake Forest University, and Wesleyan University, according to The Washington Post. To determine how well you need to perform on the SAT to get into your dream school, check out this link.

If you haven’t already taken the test or plan to take it again, The College Board has provided a breakdown of what the schedule is going to look like. If you take the test, make sure to eat a nutritious breakfast and not psych yourself out. Granted, while it may help determine where you end up going to college, your score doesn’t define you as a person, no matter how high or how low.