Juniors left clueless about standardized testing

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Junior year equals the year of standardized testing and preparing for college. Basically, it equals a year of stress on top of stress on top of stress. And unless you have older siblings or particularly involved parents, it’s common for students to have no clue what they’re in for.

Coming from England, I haven’t a clue how to go about scheduling and preparing for standardized testing. I’m not the only one.

Alessandra Nagar ’18 says, “With everyone talking about preparing for the SAT or ACT, I find myself confused, in the sense that I honestly don’t know which one I’m taking, or even the difference between the two, much less how and when I’m going to prepare for them.”

Hallie Spear ‘18 has a completely different experience. Having already taken her first ACT, Spear says, “I think it’s good to get it done early so I’m not stressed during senior year.”

According to the official College Board website, most students take the SAT spring of junior year or fall of senior year. However, it’s hard to accept this while hearing about your peers being tutored every week and that they’ve already scheduled their test date.

Nagar feels the same. She says, “I feel like I’m so behind even though everyone is telling me that I have tons of time.”

This is where guidance counselors come in. I think that every guidance counselor should meet with each of their Juniors close to the beginning of the school year and provide some basic background knowledge about how to go about these tests. I know I will never find the time to bring my queries to my counselor; we need them to come to us.

Spear acknowledges the fact that, “I don’t think it’s that standardized since not all kids have access to fancy tutors or prep classes.” From what I’ve heard, students equate preparing with tutoring.

But, according to guidance counselor Deborah Slocum, “Kids just need to relax! There are so many ways of preparing and there is so much time to do it.”

Juniors are stressing a lot about it but are doing nothing to alleviate their worries. Talk to your guidance counselor or ask your parents about a tutoring service or purchasing you a practice workbook. And, as Slocum expertly said, relax! Just realize that the stigma surrounding the SAT and ACT is just that: stigma. There are so many ways to prepare and, most importantly, plenty of time!

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