All hands on deck needed to improve SAT scores

It’s not new information that SAT scores have been declining more every year since the pandemic started. When the Dupage Policy Journal published an article showing that AT had the lowest Public High School English Failure Rates in DuPage county, parents and students began to ask a lot of questions.
Students began questioning English teachers and their way of teaching. When talking about SAT scores there’s many different things to consider.
English teachers shouldn’t get all of the blame for the English SAT scores being the way they are. They do their best to prepare us and open our minds to what the SAT looks like but there is only so much they can do.
English teachers shouldn’t be expected to talk about the SAT all the time in their class time. Especially if those classes are AP when their main focus is to help students pass the AP exam and go through their required curriculum.
What are students doing to improve their SAT scores? Are they actually studying or even trying to achieve a high score? Many colleges don’t even consider SAT scores when looking at students’ applications, so students are beginning to have less interest in taking their time on the test. “I mean I don’t really see a point in trying in the SAT if the college that I’m applying to isn’t gonna look at it and take it into consideration,” said Junior Lucia Fernandez.
Students have stopped trying to earn a high SAT score when they aren’t going to need it for the near future. Most students will look for colleges and universities that don’t require you to submit an SAT score so they can focus on other extracurricular activities that can get them that college acceptance.
According to Forbes, more than 80 percent of colleges will be test optional for all Fall 2023 admissions. While there are a select number of colleges that do not look at test scores, there are far more schools that will take your test scores into account if you submit them.
If we’re being honest, the administration also does not place much emphasis on the test. They let us know when the test is, give us a PSAT in the fall, give us our results, and send us off to take the big test. Administration doesn’t do anything to make sure students want to do better, such as incentives or rewards to encourage growth from on year to the next.
One third of my high school experience was in Texas. In Texas they push the test as if it’s the most important test of your life. They do rallies, bring in motivational speakers, and reward students that do their very best. They even have PSAT and SAT classes built in the student schedule.
“We have both PSAT and SAT classes that we are required to take. They are during school hours. It’s built into your schedule and they help you prepare for the test. They are actually really helpful,” said Junior, Isabella Esquivel from United High School in Laredo, Texas.
According to the College Board, as little as 6-8 hours of personalized SAT prep can lead to an average score increase of 90 points on the test. Twenty hours of SAT prep led to even more substantial score improvement, with an average score increase of 115 points.
AT has SAT prep classes but they aren’t free and they are outside of school hours. SAT prep classes run Saturdays and there is an option to take it during the weekdays at Willowbrook High School.
In conclusion, there’s many factors that go into the English SAT scores. We can blame English teachers, the students, and even administrators but in the end motivating students to do better and inspiring them to want to do better is a whole group effort.

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