SAT Prep Class: a helpful tool or something that makes students drool?

Students prepare for the SAT with the BHS regulated class.


Creative Commons

SAT answer sheet

Abbie Paquette, Co-Sports Editor

The time is almost here where juniors will take the last test that can either benefit or put a little misfortune on college application processes. The Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT, tests reading, writing and math subjects all in about three and a half hours, and the amount of time needed to prepare for the tests seems endless.

Yet BHS teachers and students are taking action and are preparing for the upcoming SAT class in May. Teachers and students alike gather together to create a class in order to help junior students understand the types of questions asked on the SAT as well as the best strategies to do when taking the actual test.

With all the various mediums of SAT Prep, studies show from a previous article in the Westchester Magazine that scores can increase from as low as thirty points to three hundred and twenty. But along with the various mediums, more and more colleges are looking at more than just the SAT scores.

More than 800 colleges according to the article no longer require the SAT as part of their application, believing that some students with average or below average grades can obtain a higher SAT score than those that are in the top ten percent of their class.

By learning about the SAT through the multiple books and information available on College Board, which is an online website that helps prepare for the SAT, as well as other sites, students and teachers alike learn about the best ways to gain the highest scores.

The SAT prep class runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30pm to 4pm. It is in this class-like setting where students find their strengths as well as weaknesses in preparation for the test.

Junior Jocelyn Moody is one of the many students involved in the SAT Prep class, and she chose to join after unsatisfying PSAT scores.

“I chose to take the class because I needed to strengthen my score after getting my PSAT’s,” Moody said. “It has benefitted me by giving me strategies that will help get me the best score I can.”

Junior Erin Martin also believes that the class will help her gain higher scores in May.

“[I took the class] because I thought it would be a good opportunity to study for the SAT,” Martin said. “I’ve learned a lot of strategies, the different types of questions, methods, and what to look for.”

Moody enjoys the set-up of the whole program with the different subjects as it strengthens her skill set for the SAT.

“We go over the homework we get and then we go over the questions that we have,” said Moody. “Or we go over any weaknesses that the class as a whole needs to strengthen on.”

While obtaining a better score on the SAT is the overall goal, the question eliminating strategies are what students such as Martin find most beneficial.

“The questions get harder,” Martin said when talking about the set-up of the SAT. “It’s okay to skip some [questions] you have no idea on.”

Compared to studying alone, Moody thinks that the group studying helps others prepare better as well.

“People come up with other questions that you don’t think of on your own,” said Moody. “So you can feed off their own ideas.”

Martin believes that studying more efficiently is a big factor when learning in groups.

“You learn more methods of studying in a group,” Martin said.

Along with the group aspect, most juniors like Martin use other ways outside of the class to help prepare for the long and challenging test.

“After the class is over, I look over the grammar sections in the book they gave us and [look over] the vocabulary,” Martin said.

Aside from re-looking over the multiple handouts given during the four hours a week the class is held, Moody turns to technology to help her study.

“I have a SAT vocabulary app on my phone,” Moody said. “There’s just a lot of games to help you remember the vocabulary.”

Along with the high number of students to work with, teachers such as Ms. Foster and Mr. Jacques run the course.

Jon Jacques is a math teacher at BHS, specializing in Algebra, Data Analysis and Calculus. Jacques decided to take the initiative to teach the class to benefit the kids involved and wanting a better score.

“It [the class] was going to be canceled, so I thought, ‘Well, I could probably put some time into the afternoon,’” said Jacques. “So that way the class can run, and the kids are able to do better.”

Jacques also believes that students will have better opportunities to score better, as long as the drive to succeed is there.

“When they [the students] show up, they are bound to see an increase in their scores [from the PSAT], even if it’s small,” Jacques said.

The SAT can affect many students’ futures, and with the program offered by BHS and the students taking initiative to work for better scores, college and the future of the student’s lives are almost here. Although studying may be endless, the scores are something that will matter for years to come.