Seniors’ Opinions on the SAT


The SAT sections include reading, writing and language, math with calculator and no calculator, and an optional essay.

You can borrow one of several SAT books from the library to practice. (Photographed by Katie Barrow)

Many Franklin High School students are frustrated with the College Board’s SAT due to its poor reflection of in-school learning and the financial inequities it entails. Let’s look at two different, anonymous students’ perspectives.

Does the format of the SAT reflect learning in school?

One student said that the SAT has nothing to do with what you are learning. She mentioned that depending on which math level you are in, you may not know the types of questions being asked. 

Another student notes that the SAT tests students on how well they can answer questions instead of necessary, valuable skills. She recalls peers who are not academically smart but still received a moderate score. She also notices students that are very academically inclined, yet did not receive a score that reflects them as a student.

Should students take the SAT even though many colleges are SAT optional?

This student acknowledges the toxic expectations from parents, teachers, and their peers to share a high score when asked about their test. She believes that the test is a waste of time and money. A student needs to purchase the expensive book to practice, potential tutoring or classes that are not provided by the school, and pay $60-$100 per test. 

Even though the other student disagrees with the enforcement of the test, she still thinks everyone should take it to have the option to submit it for college applications. But if you are not happy with your score, you would not have to submit it to SAT optional schools. 

Did the PSAT prepare you for the SAT?

Most of the current seniors completed the PSAT their sophomore year, and then took their first SAT attempt during the spring of their junior year. One student said that since the gap between the PSAT and SAT was so long, the PSAT did not prepare them enough for the SAT. She said that although the PSAT gives you a baseline, you can simply take a practice test on your own to prepare. 

Another student agrees because although the PSAT previews the setup of the SAT, the SAT is much harder, partly because of the essay that is not featured in the PSAT. 

How does one prepare for the SAT?

If you are worried about your SAT score, this student recommends using the practice textbook to figure out what you did wrong on your first test attempt, to improve your score with the second test. 

This student thinks that the SAT reflects the time you spend studying for it. If you want to succeed with it, put in the time to study for it outside of school because in-school learning will not prepare you for it.