This Spring’s SAT: Student Annoyance (In)tolerance


Jacob Wells

NHS junior students prepare for upcoming SAT which falls on this spring’s prom.

Jacob Wells, Reporter

WOODBURY – Nonnewaug High School was silent in March as juniors took their first, but not their last, SAT. Over the course of a week in March, juniors would take the test in waves in an attempt to try out a new testing schedule Nonnewaug is implementing.  

A month passed and students got their scores back. Some were surprised with how they performed, whether that’s a good thing or not. Other students were upset and the majority were somewhere in between.  

This year’s SAT retake is being funded by school districts, saving students money this testing season. (Jacob Wells)

“Typically a student will take the SAT two to three times,” says Chris Maclean, guidance department chairperson at Nonnewaug. “By the third test, a student will have reached their best score, but retaking the test almost always improves a student’s score.”

There are a lot of opportunities a junior has to retake the SAT. The only downside is the hours of studying that are recommended before taking each test.

“If students decide to put in some prep work through Khan Academy, our SAT class here offered after school or independently, they are likely to see an increase in their score. I understand that not all students are terrific test takers,” says Kathy Green, a guidance counselor. “However, by taking the test, you have the option to send scores if you do well.”

Juniors are facing the realization that they have to take yet another four-hour test, and there’s something making testing even more difficult: a scheduling conflict with June’s prom. 

The next opportunities to take the SAT were both on the first Saturdays of May and June. The problem is the first week of May is also an AP testing week, and the next testing day June 4 is also the day of Nonnewaug’s prom.  

“The retakes falling during AP exam week and prom night greatly discourages me and many other students from wanting to retake the test,” says Rebecca Varnum, NHS junior. “May just isn’t a possibility since studying for the exams is a consuming priority. The day of prom includes a lot of prep time to get hair and makeup done throughout the day, so it is difficult to have a long test on the same day.”

Many juniors at Nonnewaug are taking lots of challenging classes to look as good as possible when they apply for colleges. Taking difficult classes means students are taking on multiple AP classes before senior year. So when AP testing week lands on the week of the next possible SAT test, students are already going to be cramming for 3 hour long tests a day or two prior to the SAT.

“I couldn’t schedule the test for AP exam week because it would be too stressful with the AP studying also going on at the same time,” says Jack Rubacha, NHS junior.

The SAT test dates are uncontrollable because they are being used across the country, but the planning of school events could be changed ahead of time.

“We could always look and reschedule upcoming events, but there are multiple fall dates for students to retake as well,” says Maclean.

The unfortunate part of taking the test later in the year is that students can find it discouraging because it’s so far from the last test date. 

“If you are conflicted in May or June, the next one is in late August, which is really close to application time,” says Rubucha. 

A lot of students can find it really stressful to be applying and getting ready to move on with college and still having to prepare and study for the August or November SAT. In the future, a better designed schedule designed around SAT retakes could help reduce stress in students for the end of the year.