The new SAT is now being given in school as a graduation requirement, starting with the class of 2017. On March 2, 2016, many of Westhill’s juniors were called down to take the SAT during school in the gymnasium. Long tables were arranged down the gym.
Unfortunately, administration of the exam was done quite ineffectively. While some students may benefit from a free SAT exam, many had suggestions for next year’s adminstration to improve test conditions.
Camille Sweeny (’17) said, “I dislike the fact that we have to sit with other people and when they erased or wrote anything on their answer sheet the whole table would shake.”
Beacuse of this issue Westhill should have freshmen, sophomores, and seniors come to school late so the juniors can take the test in classrooms. The classroom setting would better provide students with a comfortable situation they are already accustomed to.
Students should not be clustered in a gymnasium with their peers to take a test. More students should be put in classrooms so that they have fewer distractions. Sweeney continued, “The seats were too low for the table. A way that Westhill can be more effective with the SATs is to at least provide more of a comfortable arrangement due to the fact that we are going to be sitting there for three to four hours taking a test.” When under the stress of already having to take a long test, students should not be feeling uncomfortable; this can affect how well students do on the test.
Westhill should make the essay portion a requirement as opposed to not offering it. There are many colleges that require students to submit their essay portion of the SAT; juniors applying to schools that require the essay could kill; two birds with one stone if the essay were given.
Finally, juniors should have been given the option of being able to leave school after the test. They may not be able to function as well as us after the long test. The SAT requires students to sit in one position for three to four hours straight, except for breaks. It is a tiring test and to have students go to class afterward and expect them to be able to learn just as normal is unreasonable. After a test, students are drained and exhausted. If they are given the option to go home after the test they will be able to get rest.