In the midst of taking standardized tests throughout the school year, students may lose the big picture of their value. The SAT and PSAT exams, however, should be seen as gateway exams that open up more exposure and access into the college process. The SAT is an admission test accepted by all U.S colleges that measures what students are learning in high school and what they need to know to succeed in college and beyond.
Did you know that taking the SAT and PSAT exams could also save money? Income-eligible SAT takers can receive waivers for college application fees and those who take the PSAT in 11th grade can enter the running for The National Merit Scholarship Program that uses PSAT scores to identify potential scholarship candidates.
Leslie Maddrey, Senior Project Manager of High School Supports at the School District of Philadelphia explains that a popular myth about the SAT exams is that students can wait until senior year to take the exam seriously. However, even for parents whose child is a 9th grader, it’s very valuable to take these tests seriously. The preliminary practice exams can set a baseline to understand where your child’s strengths and weaknesses on the exam are and can assess the steps needed in order to move forward and grow.
The School District of Philadelphia has made a push to expose students to these exams at an early age. One of these efforts has been to adopt an “official” SAT School Day. The SAT School Day this year will take place on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 for all ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders. This is a school day through which the PSAT and real SAT exam is administered during regular school hours at no cost! About 40,000 students will take the exam on this day, and trained test coordinators conduct the exam throughout the day. The SAT School Day provides less stress for students, more convenience, and no weekend conflicts. Taking the test on a set date also ensures that all students have scores on record.
There are many benefits to the SAT School Day for Low-Income Seniors including:
- 2 Free Saturday SATs
- 6 Free SAT Subject Tests
- 2 Free Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) or Student Answer Service (SAS) reports
- Unlimited score reports to send to colleges
- Waived application fees at participating colleges
The best part of the preparation process is that now free, personalized practice plans are available for all students through a collaboration between Khan Academy and The College Board! Check out satpractice.org to view free practice exams: 8 full-length, real practice tests created with the test-makers, and thousands of practice questions, videos, lessons, and strategies. Through Khan Academy, every student can get constant feedback and personalized training materials to help them prepare for the SAT exam. Research has shown that students who take advantage of this free resource have seen significant gains in their SAT scores (20 hours of training can lead to a 115-point score gain). There are already 200,000 active users in any given week taking advantage of this free resource! Be sure not to miss out!
Finally, make sure you and your child have the right information! Check out satpractice.org with your child and see what resources are available. Encourage your child to take advantage of free resources and practice exams and track their progress along the way! Be sure that your child gets a good night of sleep the night before the SAT School Day and eats a healthy breakfast that morning. Finally, provide positive encouragement throughout the testing process!
Check out more PSAT & SAT resources:
- www.satschoolday.org/parents: Get more information about the SAT School Day
- Make a CollegeBoard account
- Make a Khan Academy account
- www.satpractice.org: A partnership between Khan Academy and The College Board
- SAT Daily Practice Mobile App
- www.cb.org/opportunity: Opportunity Scholarships is a program that guides students through the college planning process and gives students the chance to earn money for college.