The SAT Tragedy

The SAT Tragedy

College-bound high school students have begun to prepare (or should have) for the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or the SAT. That is, if they know how. If they are having any of the experiences I am, knowing how is their issue.

Counselors will talk and talk about the need to take the SAT and the PSAT, to prepare for it. In high school, you constantly hear “Make sure you take the PSAT both your sophomore AND junior year. It will help you prepare for the real thing.” I heard this from numerous people but was never once told how taking the PSAT twice should help me prepare for the SAT. I received detailed PSAT results, but never instructions about how to use them.

So my questions remained. “What do I do?” “Where do I look?” “HOW exactly am I supposed to prepare?”

I put in requests to talk to counselors and asked several questions, but it was as if I never got any new information, so I had to take it upon myself to find answers. That’s pretty much the only way to get any information in high school . . . find it yourself.

When I looked on the school website, it was right there: an advertisement for the SAT boot camp.

As excited as I was to finally get information, I was enraged, thinking, “Why has this not been advertised in our school?” There are announcements, Remind 101 accounts, flyers, TV screens and more located all around the school. This was not posted anywhere prior to me seeing it on the school website.

When I got past my frustration, I registered for the boot camp where I received more of the information I needed, but after I left, I was thinking, “Now, what?”

So, I procrastinated. This is the absolute worst thing I could have done. Don’t ever do it. When it comes to homework that’s not due until two weeks from now, I jump on it. But now I have this test that I schedule, so I procrastinated preparing for it and setting a date to take it. Not a healthy formula.

I wasn’t exactly sure where to go to register, because, once again, I had no information. So I went to Google and searched “SAT.” Jackpot. I found all the right sites. If you wish to skip the Google step, go to

When I registered for the test, I decided to register for the nearest date available, so I could stop procrastinating, and, so far, it’s working. I’ve been studying and practicing the strategies I learned at the boot camp, and my practice test scores are improving. I take the test on March 8, so I still have some time to prepare.

My advice:

1)   Take the PSAT

2)   Attend a boot camp or preparation course

3)   Repeat Step 1

4)   Register for the test

5)   Study. Study. Study.

6)   Take the SAT (send results to colleges)

7)   Evaluate results

8)   Repeat Step 6 if necessary

Other students, I am sure, are focusing on the ACT. The steps are probably similar. I’ve chosen to take only the SAT, but for more information on the ACT, visit