by Jessica Tran
Spring comes with warm weather, flowers, and a fresh start. But to juniors it is the sign of SAT.
SAT stands for the Scholastic Aptitude Test and is one of two admission tests that are usually necessary to go to college. They test math, reading, and writing skills. Students study for the 3 hours and 45 minute test months, sometimes a year, prior. Programs such as Kaplan Test Prep or Princeton Review are popular courses that students take in order to prepare. Parents often stress the test’s importance due to its influence on college admissions and are willing to pay for the courses despite their prices.
The courses that are available to students vary by company and class size. They can range from $100 to $1099 and up depending on how large the class is and who teaches it. Braintree High offers SAT prep every spring as well. With the wide array or courses and prices, parents are spending more and more on preparation for a single test. This financial commitment causes additional stress on the student because not only do they have college on their mind, but also the financial burden that causes on their family.
But when is too early or what is too much? Casey Tan, Audrey Hallahan, and Namita Akumar, sophomores, will be taking the SAT in spring of 2015. They each have a different perspective of when to prepare for it. Audrey Hallahan says that “During my junior year I will be taking classes”, not knowing where just yet. Casey Tan has begun to take a Kaplan course this spring and she said that, “Its going good because I can take as many class as I want, I get a review book, and many practice tests”. And Namita Akumar has been reviewing since the Fall of 2013 at a SAT prep class at MIT.
With the array of options for students to prepare, I questioned whether the test is still fair because some may prepare sooner than others. Casey Tan replied, “It is fair because it is the students choice and it is up to them to figure out what they want to do”.
Ultimately it is up to the student and their family. They could begin to prepare a week before or a year before and still have the same test.
But not everything is so bad because the test is adapting to modern times. After the class of 2016, it will be out of 1600 and change in terms of scoring system, vocabulary, and subject matter in both math and English.
Jessica Tran is a founding member of BHS News.