Hopping Back Into SAT/ACTs

Welcoming yet another important highlight that approaches this dreary weather of Spring, SAT and ACT has officially entered its peak season, when students cram last minute studies and sign up for countless SATs hoping to improve their score. This time of year is synonymous with monotonous days of studying and sleepless nights, as the school year continues its grueling pile-on of projects, assignments and tests. Juniors, especially, are feeling the brunt of it, with the added work of preparing for the SATS/ACTS, college expectations and regular academic goals. However, it is important to take it in stride, as these are the necessary steps to a further higher education.

The SAT has been around since the 1920s, serving as a way to test students on what they have retained from those four years of high school, allowing them to categorize themselves into easier brackets for college admissions offices. Through the years, the SAT has gone through many changes to keep up with the ever changing dynamics of the academic world. Despite its modern efforts like going online, shortening tests and allowing calculators throughout the entire exam, many people still question its relevance. Many schools believe the SAT to be fundamentally flawed, training students to prepare for a test that isn’t necessarily for all. For example, many see the SAT as a baseless test to compare other students’ intellect, mainly through memorization of pointless information. Those who don’t plan on going to a conventional college may not see the need for the SAT and ACT anyway.

Another critique is the environment surrounding these types of standardized tests, with it being mostly negative. Many students constantly feel the pressure of scoring high in comparison to their peers, adding on to the stress of studying and testing, as well as stress from classes and other activities. For Neuqua students, this is especially a more relatable case, as classified by the Illinois Report Card(a site that applies data about Illinois school statistics), the average reported score for the SAT is a 1200 and the average for the ACT is 29, all above the state average.

Though all of this information supports a more negative connotation towards these standardized tests, these traits can be more of a benefit to students to advance their skills, academically and in the working world. The SAT and ACT are tests that are focused on rhetorical skills, analyzing dense texts and foundational mathematical skills, all under a time-pressured environment. Practicing these valuable studying habits can prepare students for college level work through exposure to advanced topics ranging from sciences to social studies that are tested for analysis in standardized tests. These tests are like a marathon, being an arduous three hour long task of concentration, which can rollover into endurance training for long working days in school and in work environments. All of these skills, if mastered, can greatly improve an individual’s ability to progress further academically or in the working world.

Although these standardized tests have certain stereotypes and specified agendas that may not cater to everyone’s needs, there are still an array of opportunities that are opened up to those who take up the challenge. From scholarship opportunities to crucial study skills that can transfer over into different fields, the SAT and ACT still prevail in their relevance against the constraints of time, making it all worthwhile.

The Echo wishes all good luck on future standardized testing endeavors!