Do I need to take the SATs?
No one likes taking the SAT's. It is almost a four hour test that measures what you learn in high school and what you need to succeed in college. However, many people debate whether or not the SAT really is an accurate measure of your intelligence or skills. Still, an entrance exam (either the ACT or the SAT) is absolutely necessary for 98% of the colleges you will apply to. Some of the more progressive and liberal institutions weigh your high school experiences and your college essay more highly than the standardized tests, but most institutions still want it.
All public high school students are required to take the SAT's in the Spring of their Junior year. This year the test is scheduled for April 10th. In October, before Juniors take the SAT, they should have taken the PSAT, which is similar to the SAT. The PSAT gives a score and percentages just as they would receive for the SAT, but the grade doesn't go on school records. The PSAT is just an indication of how they will fare on the SAT. It may guide students to decide how much SAT preparation that they will need and it will help to determine the areas that you need to focus on when prepping for the real thing.
These entrance exams are not worth obsessing over. You should do the best you can to prepare fully for the test so nothing comes as a surprise. Still, the SAT is hard to study for individually because it covers all of the information that you should have learned in high school. If you are really nervous about the SAT, you may want to enroll in either group or one-on-one SAT Prep class. Students are known to earn better scores after being tutored, upwards of 200 points or more. If you are applying to college and you are nervous about your scores, a prep course may be a sound investment. Call The Study Hall for more information at 236-3949 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.