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Free SAT given by the county during school on March 7

Junior%2C+Jacob+Bolger+prepares+by+reading+the+SAT+study+guide.
Junior, Jacob Bolger prepares by reading the SAT study guide.

Junior, Jacob Bolger prepares by reading the SAT study guide.

Grace Gaydosh

Grace Gaydosh

Junior, Jacob Bolger prepares by reading the SAT study guide.

by Grace Gaydosh, Editor

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The short URL of the present article is: https://lhslance.org/rk5av

Junior year is all fun and games until students have to start worrying about college. When applying to a college, one of the first things they need to think about is taking the Scholastic Assessment Test, also known as the SAT.

This year the test will be given to all juniors free of charge on March 7. FCPS made this decision because it provides the required assessment for College and Career Readiness by the end of 11th grade and replaces English 11 PARCC and Algebra 2 PARCC as the CCR measure.

Created by the College Board, the SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions. The score is often a key component of the college application. The test is scored on a total scale from 400-1600. However, colleges also consider high school GPAs, recommendation letters, extracurricular activities, academic transcripts, and more.

The test is offered nationally during August, October, November, December, March, May, and June. In Frederick, the test can be taken at locations such as Governor Thomas Johnson High School on May 5. There are other dates students can sign up for as well. 

The March date is on a school day rather than on a weekend. The SAT is a high stakes test and colleges look for good scores. In order to get a good score, students need to study and make sure they know the content. Also, they need to be alert and focused. Juniors usually take the test in a testing location; however, this year the test will be administered in various classrooms around the building.

Some advanced freshmen, most, sophomores and some first semester juniors usually take the PSAT to prepare. The PSAT can give students an idea of what the SAT will be like and a ballpark of the range of a score the student can expect to earn.  The October PSAT is also the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship.

Junior Reilly Kidwell, said, “I feel like the PSAT did prepare me, and I got to see what the format was going to look like. However, I would still feel confident going into the SAT’s without having taken the PSAT.”

Another way for students to prepare is by taking SAT prep classes or getting tutoring if their PSAT scores were not the best.

“I have a tutor that I go to weekly to try to improve my scores,” said Kidwell.

For students, taking the test at their own school may have some benefits. First, it’s free to FCPS students. More students are taking it this year because they won’t have to pay the $60 fee. Doing well on the SAT can qualify students for dual enrollment. Students have to receive at least a 480 on the reading section and a 530 on the math section to qualify.

“All 11th graders are taking the test, so it is definitely an increase from last year,” said Assistant Principal, Andrew McWilliams.

A big positive to taking the test at Linganore is that students may be able to focus more on the test because they are familiar with the environment they are in.

“I would feel a lot more confident and comfortable taking the test at Linganore because I know the school better than any other,” said Blake Hayden, a junior.

On the other hand, some students may feel as if the test being at their own school will affect their score. The date is approaching quickly, and they may not be ready yet or feel fully prepared.

“I don’t feel prepared because there is no review that has been beneficial to me,” said Junior Tyler Gorman.

Kidwell thinks that taking the SAT at Linganore, with familiar bells and noise,  might negatively affect her score.

“I’m scared my scores are going to go down instead of up and that I won’t be able to focus as well,” said Kidwell.

Mrs. Tracey Cassidy, Reading Specialist, has prepared a document that all students can use to review for the test.  She has combined some of the most important tips and advice from Khan Academy into one easy to use document.  Access this information on our Linganore website.

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Free SAT given by the county during school on March 7