Juniors take SAT in reopened school building

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In light of the many obstacles the coronavirus pandemic has forced the College Board to consider, the SAT has undergone numerous changes. Despite this, THHS continued to offer students the opportunity to take the exam within the building, administering the test this past Wednesday, March 26. A second administration of the SAT will take place Tuesday, April 27. 

While the test is normally conducted within the school gymnasium, accommodations were made so that testing “zones” extended to the school cafeteria as well. “This year, we add[ed] the cafeteria space and split the juniors into 150 and 150 [instead of 300 juniors in the gym] each administration,” said Assistant Principal of Organization Ellen Fee. “[Proctors consisted of] a mix of staff and certified substitutes that have lots of experience with the College Board, including AP exams and SAT/PSAT.” 

While the virtual setting has changed the way students are learning, Ms. Fee felt confident in students’ performance on the test with the support of practice platforms offered by the school. “Each year we work with the PTA to offer free and discounted services to help with preparation. Students at THHS have had a lot of success with Method Prep that we’ve made available through a grant for the past two years,” Ms. Fee said.

Prior to the exam, students shared their thoughts and expectations for the big day. 

“I think I am relatively prepared, I have been self-studying for the past two months or so and have been doing practice tests,” said junior Maggie Zheng. 

Other juniors, like Angelina Kretz, had a different perspective. “I honestly think that we aren’t as prepared as before for the SAT because of COVID and the uncertainty as to whether colleges will go test-optional or not,” she said. “Many colleges have already started going test-optional for my year but I still feel that we were left behind and I didn’t have as much guidance as I would have if we were in person.” 

Students also appreciated that THHS was administering the test this year. “I think it’s really nice how THHS is offering the SAT because I know from personal experience how tedious it is when your location center gets closed,” Maggie said. 

On the other hand, some students expressed concerns about the safety of taking the exam in person. “I feel that the SAT being administered by THHS could definitely pose safety concerns as there’s going to be many students that haven’t visited the building this entire school year and are now going into the building to take this test,” said Angelina. “With proper safety measures and social distancing it would be more beneficial for the students’ safety but it’s still a completely different environment than before.” 

Maggie said, “I think we should all get our temperatures checked beforehand and ensure that we are six feet apart from each other at all times.”

Image from Pixabay

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