Today was my final early weekend morning taking a standardized test in order to get into college, and so I feel it appropriate to write a quick passage regarding my views on the SAT/ACT. The SAT is not intended to be torturous in any way; that’s just how it turns out for most students. As valedictorian of my class, I didn’t anticipate having to study much for a test that focused on simple subjects like math and english, but the test isn’t about what you know; the test focuses on your ability to think logically and rule answers out that are virtually the same. After taking calculus at 15, I was still in the 600’s on my SAT, so obviously the test doesn’t measure your abilities in math overall. Too many students let the test get to them and let it put them down. My advice is, do your best, get in the range that your top school wants, and move on. You can’t dwell on something like the SAT, because you’ll never win. The SAT is an educated bully.
The SAT II is not nearly as bad as the SAT, since it’s more predictable and covers material more closely related to classes in high school. I took the Biology SAT II this morning, and I felt very prepared having taken honors biology as well as having prepared with a tutor. The material was straightforward, as were most of the questions. Some of the other tests, like literature and math, are a little more complex and, again, require more time than given for thinking and reasoning, so in the end, it’s a crap shoot. You’ve just gotta roll with the punches sometimes, as hard as that is. It’s especially hard for someone who loves being in control of her grades and work. Failure doesn’t come easy for me, but knowing that the average score on the SAT is around 1400 makes my high 1900 score feel a bit higher.