Students share SAT stories and secrets


Justin Maines, Staff Writer

Almost every student in high school has heard about the SAT. The SAT is a standardized test administered by the College Board. Taking this test is a standard requirement for admission into many colleges and universities in the United States. So, many students know about this test, but what does SAT even stand for? Well, that cannot be answered, because SAT is not an acronym, it is simply the name of the test (weird, right). Although that question is unanswerable, prior test takers are still able to share their testing experience and offer tips for prospective testers.

Alyssa Twigg and Cruz Wright are both juniors at Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School that have taken the SAT one time. Both Twigg and Wright described their test days as going smoothly without any problems, showing prospective testers that there is nothing to worry about when they get to their testing facility. Both students shared that certain high school classes were very helpful for their SAT preparation, with Twigg stating: “Take College Algebra before you take the SAT. Without taking College Algebra, I would have never gotten a decent math score on the SAT. Also, Mrs. Moyer’s English 10 Pre-AP class was a huge help. When you are in that class, you learn to analyze text. It is a major help for the SAT.”

The PSAT (surprisingly, the “P” stands for practice), is a great tool to help students, as both Twigg and Wright spoke of the importance of the PSAT in their preparation. Twigg explained that the content of the PSAT was still very fresh in her mind when she took the SAT, giving her an advantage over students who did not take the practice test. Additionally, Wright explained that taking the PSAT prepared him for what the test day experience of the SAT would be like.

Clearfield senior Elliot Thorp has taken the SAT three times, and he has improved his score 70 points each time. Going from an already great score of 1350 to an impressive 1490 is a major jump, and he attributes this to a few key aspects. Along with taking the right high school classes to prepare, Thorp shares another helpful study tool: “The easiest way to prepare for the test is by using Khan Academy’s SAT prep course. It’s free, covers everything that is on the SAT, and tracks how you do in each subject so you know what you need to still improve on.” By using these aspects, Thorp believed that he learned everything he needed to know for the test.

Being proficient in the information of the test is just one part of achieving a good score. Thorp believes that being comfortable during the test has helped him, stating: “My best advice would be to bring some food and drinks for the test. I always brought granola bars and water, but anything that helps you not get hungry is fine. Other than that, wearing comfy clothes is pivotal. You’re going to be sitting at a desk for four hours, so there’s no point in being uncomfortable.”

While taking a four hour test is not the ideal way most students would spend a Saturday morning, it is a necessary step in attending college and earning scholarships. Utilizing the tactics shared in this article can greatly help students improve their scores and have a great test day experience. For more information on the SAT and what students need on test day, check out the College Board’s official website at: