You’ll want to SAT Down for This



Right around the time when placements are released, students are often in disbelief regarding what on earth could have led to such an egregious mistake. Perhaps standardized testing is the area in which these students need improvement. If this is the case, look no further than to one of the newly required high school courses/programs.

While this year juniors were given the opportunity (which, it should be noted, was not optional) to take the online program known as Ray Dass, some  were frustrated that they had to duplicate the practice they were already receiving with their private tutors. Therefore, starting next year, all rising 10th and 11th graders will be given several options to complete the SAT/ACT/PSAT preparation program mandated by the school.

Why did the school mandate this practice at all? According to Mr. Bronish not all students were doing as well as they might given the right opportunity. Not all students had the time or resources to reach their potential on these exams.  When I asked Mr. Bronish about this he said, “The main advantages for students and families are financial and time. Private test prep can be expensive and out of reach of some of our families so this helps them by having no or low cost options to choose from. It helps level the playing field so everyone has access to test preparation.”  Through this new system, a family’s financial status will not dictate how well a student does. Everyone will be given the same opportunity to do as well as they can.

Another reason that the idea for having an SAT course came about was to help better accommodate those students who involve themselves in intense activities out of school. With the option of taking a pass or fail course during the day students will be able to receive their standardized test practice without hindering their extracurricular activities. Mr. Bronish says, “Students involved in demanding extracurricular activities may not have time available to receive private tutoring outside of school time. Offering a class within the schedule will allow these students the opportunity to have a class in their school day schedule without having to worry about after school time commitments.”  

Students intrigued by these new changes but still confused about which is the best option for them should know Mr. Bronish has them covered. He encourages students in 11th grade and any seniors to take the SAT/ACT exam to either hire a private tutor or to try and take the course being offered during the day.  (A semester class will be available during two tracks both semesters). Students wishing to take this option should decide to take this class during the registration period of April 25-May 1.  

Students entering 10th grade are encouraged to either use Khan Academy (Which has the added bonus of being free)  or purchase access ($99) to the online program the juniors used this year (Ray Dass). Only after 11th graders have enrolled will 10th graders be given any available seats for the class offered during the day.

Honoring the students’ feedback from this year’s experience, we decided to allow students and families to select what they felt was an appropriate way to prepare for these important exams. In the end, what is important is that all students take these exams seriously and do something in order to prepare them for the exams.”

Maybe this time next year, after having improved their test taking skills will be in shock at all the honors they’ve been recommended for. Be sure to review your options and check off and return the test preparation form in your registration packets and hopefully you might find yourself in one of these coveted spots.