Ava took the SAT two weeks ago. In fact, it feels as if the Scholastic Aptitude Test was the only thing in the past 3 weeks that wasn’t cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus. We’ve recently received her scores. After months of anticipation, long hours of testing and waiting for the results, you might wonder:
Is it worth it to take the SAT in middle school?
Despite the anxiety and jitters of the actual test taking, there’s a lot of useful information you can put towards taking the SAT again in high school. Along with the empowering feeling of being able to get into any college in Alabama, you receive so much detailed information on what you did well, and the things you need to work on. From that I’ve reached out to my teachers about how to improve the score I got.
It’s a valuable experience, but you have to take advantage of it. It’s not worth nearly as much to ignore the results and just say you did it. You have to take all the information available to you.
I also want to put it out there that the kid that’s taking the test should want to do it as much, or more than their parents. It’s a long and straining 5 hours, and the person taking the test needs to want to do well. Otherwise it’s very hard to keep chugging along with the test. However, looking back at the whole experience, I’m glad I took it. The 5 hours of testing is a small price to pay for the 3+ years of information you’re given to improve on.
Ava is a talented student. Even better, she enjoys pushing herself academically. Part of pushing yourself means doing things most other people don’t do. Just ask Felicity Huffman. Certainly, most 8th graders don’t set aside a Saturday to submit themselves to a voluntary 5 hour test. But if you want to be great at anything, you push yourself to do hard things. It’s part of the process.
The first time you take on any challenge is just practice for the next time. The SATs are no different. It helps to get some practice in before there is any pressure to perform well. If the results are good, you profit from the experience. And the additional confidence. But if the results are bad, you are able to say, ‘Who cares, I’m just an 8th grader! And I’ve got an amazing Dad!’
Like with so many areas of life, testing yourself prepares you for how to take the test itself. A.C. came out of this experience with valuable insights to take the test better next time. Including how to budget her time, and areas of learning to focus on. It makes me proud to know that my child has challenged herself with the SAT, and not a Tide Pod.
We want to hear from you. If you have insight or opinions about the value of taking the SATs in middle school please share.