Juniors: What you Need to Know About the SAT

Anna Hulstedt, Features Editor

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      Juniors, the SAT is approaching rapidly. This college entrance exam is both a requirement to graduate high school and is generally required on a college application as well. The SAT measures a student’s mathematical and reading skills, as well as being a predictor of how a student will perform in their freshman year of college. National test day is on Tuesday, April 9. All juniors at Belvidere North will be taking the test, and freshman and sophomores will take the PSAT, or the Preliminary SAT, as a practice for their junior year exam. Seniors have the day off of school, and are encouraged to plan a college visit on that day if possible.


Test Day

      Students should be able to find their names with their testing room assignments prior to test day. It is important to be in your designated classroom by 8:15, as the test begins between 8:30 and 9:00.

      Phones, smart watches, and electronics are not permitted in the testing rooms and should be left in a locker throughout the day. Snacks and water are allowed, but can only be taken out during a break. Students will be provided snacks and water between tests, but it may be beneficial to bring extra snacks because students will not be released from testing until around 1:30 pm.

      A few sharpened No. 2 pencils are required, and it may be a good idea to bring a larger pink eraser as well. A student ID is required in order to take the test. All backpacks should be left in lockers. The Math (Calculator) portion allows students to use an accepted calculator on this test. Calculators that are allowed are listed here. Be sure to charge your calculator or add new batteries. Bringing extra batteries may be a good idea as well. 

      If juniors want to leave school after the SAT instead of attending their afternoon classes, they can leave by turning in their permission slip to Office B. Permission slips were mailed out a few weeks ago. Many students will go out to lunch with their friends to celebrate the completion of their test.


SAT Details

      The SAT starts with the reading section, a 65 minute section in which students are given five passages to read and answer 52 multiple choice questions about the passages. This score counts towards the reading score for the SAT. The SAT score is made up of a reading and math score; each of these scores ranges from 200 to 800. Therefore, the composite SAT score ranges from 400 to 1600 points.

      Then, students take the writing and language portion, which is 35 minutes. There are 44 questions to answer, in which the questions are correcting pieces of writing.

      The SAT math portion is split into two sections, one without a calculator and one with a calculator. The non-calculator section is 20 questions for 25 minutes, and students are given 55 minutes to answer the 38 questions on the calculator section.

      In addition, students will be taking the SAT Essay test as well. The essay score is not included in the composite SAT score, and not all colleges will require the essay for college admissions. Students are given 50 minutes to read a passage and analyze the author’s argument throughout their essay. Typically, the essay is optional, but all BNHS students will be taking this additional section.


Tips for the SAT

      Since this standardized test is important for many students in the college application process, it is important that it is taken seriously.

      One thing that can help is a good night’s rest before test day. Be sure to get extra sleep the night before to feel well rested and awake for the test. In addition, eating a good, healthy breakfast will make a difference in your testing skills. Eggs, toast, or anything filling is a good breakfast idea the morning of test day.

      Be sure to bring everything necessary for the test, including your No. 2 pencils, your student ID, a calculator, snacks, and water. Good luck with testing next week! Scores should be available on May 2, with the essay portion scores becoming available as well between May 5 and May 7. Scores can be found on your College Board account online.

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