Students support school-sponsored SAT study sessions

Hadyn Nuttall, Sports/Entertainment Editor

  The SAT. The test that strikes fear into the hearts of many students. The test that can define the near future and college opportunities of American teenagers. 

  Although the Covid-19 pandemic saw a brief respite from SAT scores as a decision-making factor for colleges many schools seem poised to a return to the SAT-norm, bringing the test back as an important factor in college admissions. For a test that has so much hanging in the balance, how should students prepare? How should schools support their students in that process?

  When surveyed, MHS students were strongly in favor of school-provided SAT prep. A survey of the underclassmen showed that 66.4% of responding underclassmen said they would participate in school-provided SAT prep, while 27.4% said they might, and 6.3% said they wouldn’t. The survey of seniors reflecting on their SAT experience provided similar results with 69.7% of respondees who would’ve participated had it been offered with 24.2% who might have and 6.1% who wouldn’t. 

  Students who said they wouldn’t participate listed several reasons including, not being worried about the test, prep being boring, having taken the PSAT as prep, seeing no point in it, taking the ACT instead, and prep taking too much time. 

  Other students are more concerned with classwork, “I have a lot of AP classes and AP exams to prepare for,” said sophomore Kameal Myrie.

  Sophomore Antoni Dispensa had a similar point of view, “It doesn’t seem as if it is helpful or related to any academic topics we have learned.” 

  Also, school-offered SAT prep may not be able to cater to the needs of all students in the way individual or private SAT prep can. 

  Senior Kayla Sison said, “I would likely not participate in SAT prep if it were a group setting. I prefer self-led studying; it’s what works best for me. However, if it was independent, I probably would have participated.”

  On the other hand many students said they would participate because they’d be more confident and more prepared going into the test, they could get more money from colleges, and it would be cheaper than private SAT prep.

  “The way the SAT structures their test revolves less around accumulative knowledge and more around how well you can actually read the SAT; a class or even an extracurricular on that would be beneficial to any student who wants to increase their score,” said junior Adriyanna Tesimu.

  Students said they would participate because they prefer learning from a real teacher rather than online programs or study books. 

  Senior David DeGrazia said, “I felt unsure about what content to study for the SAT, even with resources like Khan Academy. I feel like hearing from a real teacher would be far superior to a computer program.”

  Senior Caleb Beversdorf had a similar preference, “I would like a space where I could ask questions about specific problems and do practice on actual paper with bubbling instead of it all being online.” Caleb Beversdorf, senior

  SAT prep offered through the school would also make the resource more accessible to students. 

  “It would help prepare us more and it would give the kids who can’t afford tutoring a better chance to do well,” said junior Olivia Sharp.

  Senior Jackson Koenigsknecht said, “I think that it would be beneficial to offer SAT prep for those who want it but may not have the resources to do it themselves. Not everyone may be able to have their own personal tutor so a class or individualized tutors offered by the school would help those who need it.” 

  Students also said it’s difficult to make time for study on their own and many don’t even know where to start. 

  “I really would’ve liked a space to study for the SAT, because if was so hard for me to set aside my own time for it. Having a designated chance for SAT prep would’ve made it easier to make time for it,” said senior Gianna Horcher.

  Students across grade levels face this problem in finding effective study strategies.

  “I would definitely participate in SAT prep,” said sophomore Stella Moon. “Despite online resources it’s hard to find time and motivation to actually study, whereas if there was a prep group, it’s built in time directly for studying and learning.”

Freshman Madeleine Nuzzo said, “It would help students who want to do SAT prep but maybe can’t find the time or the right materials.”

  The school does have some resources for SAT prep. Some teachers offer prep during classes and the Literacy Center offered a five-week SAT course leading up to the exam.

  Some students appreciated the help offered by the Literacy Center, “There was SAT prep available for five weeks through the lit center. It is a mini course I participated in and I felt like it helped me a lot,” said senior Alicia Brak.

  However, others felt they could’ve used more help.

  “Even though teachers offered some prep during classes, I still felt unprepared on and during the actual test day. With solid SAT prep, it probably would’ve helped me get a better score without having to pay for a private tutor,” said senior Jenna Santos. 

  Students said they were looking for opportunities to take practice tests, learn test-taking tips, help with material that would be on the SAT, strategy explanations, help understanding the way questions are written, math review, grammar review, and an opportunity to ask teachers their questions among others. 

  At the end of the day students are working for better scores and the best possible future and would like if the school could help them do it. 

  “I would love to have a resource available to me to practice for the SAT. I think that it is very important for me to get a good score on the SAT to get into a good college,” said sophomore Parker Dumalski.

  Students have shown strong interest in SAT prep accessible through the school. Mundelein takes pride in being an institution that effectively prepares kids for their future. If SAT prep were to be implemented there would be students who would participate.

Said junior Alex Bui, “It’s free help, who wouldn’t want it?”