For the freshman and sophomores out there, this article may not seem like it adheres to you, but don’t worry… it will very soon. For the juniors and seniors out there, I would listen if I were you. Even though high school students do not necessarily enjoy thinking about this particular part of their ticket to college, the SAT can be conquered just like any other test taken at Garnet Valley High School. The key to SAT success revolves around three predominantly basic concepts that students should undertake at least a week prior to taking the SAT: sleep, practice, and self-motivation.
High school seems like the period of sleeplessness in many students lives, especially those who are constantly bombarded with homework and have numerous school and extracurricular activities that they are involved in. The last thing on a student’s mind is getting enough sleep for the SAT. But I assure all of the juniors and seniors at Garnet Valley that sleep is vital to performing well on the SAT. If a stu
dent has practiced for the SAT-which all students taking the SAT should be doing- the information and concepts that that student has retained have to go through neural processing in order to stick in that student’s mind. Sleep is the daily period in which that information is processed and stored, so if a student is up all night cramming for the SAT the next day, the student will be unable to coherently process the concepts he or she is practicing and will not be able to clearly recall that information during the SAT itself. Sleep is the ultimate way for the body to rest and the brai
n to process and hold information, and therefore, a lack of sleep is doing a disservice to a person’s body and mind. Success on the SAT results from being awake, energized, and recalling study information, so don’t cram for the SAT the night before and lose that precious sleep!
There is a lot on a teenager’s plate during his or her high school years, so for most people, the SAT is an assessment that is “winged” and put off to the side. Not a good idea. A student’s GPA is not the only thing that colleges are examinin
g on his or her application; the SAT score is one of the ways that colleges decide whether or not to accept a student. So it is crucial that students in high school prepare themselves accordingly and start practicing ahead of time for the SAT. Juniors, for example, should not start preparing for the SAT the fall or even the summer of their senior year. And a senior should have at least taken the SAT once or twice before their senior year rolls around. The best recommendation that I can give as a junior to high school students is to start preparing for the SAT the summer after sophomore year. Do not hold off the SAT! It is as critical to a student’s admission into college as his or her GPA. There are many local institutions around Garnet Valley such as Huntington Learning Center that offer tutoring and helpful practice for students before they take the SAT and will provide students with the knowledge and confidence they need in order to perform their best on the SAT.
The concept of self-motivation, in my opinion, is the most difficult o
ut of these three tasks for students to grasp and fulfill. Having confidence in oneself can be extremely difficult, especially if a student has not prepared like he or she should have or knows from practice that he or she struggles with a certain section of the SAT. But do not be discouraged if you do not perform as well as you would like on your first try or feel that others will do better than you. Self-esteem is the final factor that immensely contributes to a strong SAT score. Any student taking the SAT, whether or not he or she is in the top classes at Garnet Valley High School, has to go into the SAT feeling confident and inspired to do the best that he or she can. Going into my first SAT, I knew like most people that I was not going to get a 1600, but I did know that I had practiced effectively and that I was proud of myself and very confident in the skills I had learned. It does not take a genius to do well on the SAT, but it does take motivation and confidence to be able to push through a test that is challenging to a degree and is multiple hours long. So I encourage the juniors and seniors that either have taken the SAT or are going to take the SAT soon to be confident in themselves and not let fear or anxiety discourage them and force them to lose their motivation. The SAT is simply a test. It is
one out of many tests that a student will take during his or her high school years, and just like any test, it requires students to have self-esteem and assure themselves that they will succeed in order for those students to have success. So do not hold to any stress or fear about the SAT; let those negative feelings go and embrace the positive feelings of courage and self-faith!
The SAT is a game that students can successfully play through the strategies of sleep, consistent practice, and self-motivation. College is a goal that numerous high school students want to accomplish, and by acing the SAT through those three basic tools, high school students at Garnet Valley and any high school will have taken a step in the right direction towards a bright future.