Normal West juniors prep for college with the SAT test

Clarissa King, Staff Reporter

For the past couple of weeks, Normal West juniors prepared to take the SAT test, which was held on Wednesday, April 5th. SAT stands for Scholastic Assessment Test, and this test gives a score that helps Wildcats get into college.

“The SAT is a standardized test that helps with college admissions. It is one of the many factors that colleges use for admission. On the most recent test, it evaluates how how our state is doing,” said counselor Corey Ostling.

The SAT test has replaced the ACT test in being the standard test for getting into college in Illinois, so all juniors take the test free of charge.

“The tests (ACT and SAT) are actually are very similar. They have a very similar structure and timing. The scoring is different, and then some of the nuances like the number of questions of per section. The state of Illinois chose to use the SAT as the accountability test for schools,” Ostling said.

The test consists of a reading section, a writing/grammar section, a math section (both calculator and non-calculator), and an essay portion as well. It differs from the ACT in regards to the fact that there is no science portion.

Students prepare for the test via online practice (the counselors recommend Khan Academy), prep classes, and work in their English III classes in the weeks prior to the test.

Khan Academy has helped one student, Alyx Merritt (11), in the past.

“I haven’t done any preparation for the SAT this time but I have before. I just suggest using the new Khan Academy tools they have created for this test and just taking practice tests. I have found that practice tests have been really helpful for noticing patterns,” she said.

Counselor Ostling also says that the classes that students take can also improve their score and SAT-readiness. “Students should take rigorous courses. I think that the students who take challenging classes are the ones who will do well on the test.”

Leah Monagle (11) has been preparing for both the SAT and even her 4th time taking the ACT. She said, “I took a great ACT prep class, but practice tests and problems are great resources as well.”

The counselors recommended that students get a good night’s sleep before the test and have a good breakfast so that they can better focus.

Merritt wasn’t too worried about the test though. Her message to Wildcats is that it’s “just another test.”

“For me the SAT is just another test. Its an extremely important test but I don’t find myself dreading test day as it’s another standardized test to show colleges what I know. We have been taking standardized since elementary school so even though it’s very important, it’s nothing new”, Merritt added.

Last Wednesday’s test was not an easy one for Wildcats, but it will help them to succeed in the future.