These are busy times for the juniors at SHS. The upperclassmen could be seen walking the halls with stacks of review books and dark eye circles throughout the month of May as they prepared for AP exams. Now that those are just barely completed, students must quickly refocus for other tests.
School finals are obviously important, but many juniors are also concerned with the upcoming SAT and ACT test dates, scheduled for June 2 and June 9 respectively.
Standardized tests are often very stressful because of the weight they carry on college applications. It is true test scores are only one factor in a college application, but even just accounting for that one piece of the puzzle means standardized tests are probably the most important many juniors have yet to take.
There is good news, however. According to the Princeton Review, a student’s ACT test score is the easiest component to change in a college application. Even SAT scores can be improved with diligent work and practice.
While many students are taking the June tests in the hopes of not having to worry about it in the fall, it may be a good idea to retake one or both regardless of how scores pan out.
According to the ACT, of students who took the ACT more than once, 57 percent saw an increase in their composite score. According to College Board, 55 percent of juniors who took the SAT saw an increase in their scores as seniors.
These increases likely come from gaining familiarity of both format and time constraints that can only be achieved by taking and retaking the tests. Students can also improve their scores through private work with a tutor or test prep system, or through non-personal programs like large classes.
Irrespective of the method, juniors should recognize the importance of studying for standardized tests in order to strengthen college applications as much as possible.