The quest for 1600


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The SAT is run by The College Board, and is the most widely used standardized test for students to take when preparing for college. One alternative for the SAT is the ACT (or American College Testing). The ACT differs from the SAT by scoring people out of a possible 36 points, and includes a science section. “I took the SAT because it was free to take at the high school,” said Nick Franzini ‘18, SAT veteran.“Once I took one, I felt like I had to take it again so I can superscore it. It didn’t make sense to take a whole different test.”

Max Porter, Staff Writer

The SAT is one of the most important tests of everyone’s high school career. Every year, students at HBHS eagerly walk into the gymnasium, nervous about what is to come. During the longest three hours and 50 minutes of their lives, students are tested in sections of math, reading, and writing. Many test takers will prepare for countless hours for the SAT.

Which section is the easiest? The hardest? The SAT is infamous for its multifaceted array of sections, each one unique in difficulty. Many people on March 21 chose to, in addition to the existing math and reading sections, take the optional writing section. In this section, students respond to a rhetorical analysis essay prompt and have to demonstrate their writing prowess to College Board, the company responsible for communicating college readiness to the colleges, a feat that must not be undersold. “The writing section was the worst. I really didn’t want to take it, but most of my schools wanted to see that score,” said Michael Friedman ‘18.

Here at Hollis Brookline High School, “SAT day” is a big deal. Many depend on this test to help them get into the college of their dreams. The SAT was held in the gymnasium, and this year’s test went by just as any other SAT would have, students diligently working hard to try to impress colleges. To make it even more of a success, people like to superscore their SAT tests. “Super-scoring is where you put your top score in Math and put it with your top score in English,” Patrick Grimes ‘18 said, “it really helps to make you look better to schools even if you didn’t do well on one test day.” It helps highlight the strengths of each individual student by ruling out outlying scores.

Did the SAT go as well as most hoped? “It was unpleasant,” Alex Meagher ‘19 exclaimed, “but it was alright. It was just really long.” The hope is that many students come out of the SAT feeling good about their performance after hours and hours of preparation.

The SAT is a tool for colleges to analyze one’s college readiness. Some colleges weigh it more than others, but some colleges do not want to see it at all. Colleges such as Worcester Polytechnic Institute and UC Berkeley are test optional, meaning you do not have to send scores at all. At the end of the day, if you did not score well on this SAT, that’s fine. You could always retake it, or not send a score out to colleges if they are test optional. Despite the fact that the goal of the test is to score highly, in reality, only a few students in the country are able to get a perfect score. This is just one criteria of many that colleges consider for college acceptance.