School helps students prepare for new SAT

The switch from the ACT to the SAT is enough to make students sweat, but the school hopes to ease worries by providing several different ways to prepare for testing day.
One of the ways the school is trying to help is by alerting students of the resources available to them.
“We have a lot of materials we purchased from the College Board which will be distributed amongst juniors and used in their classes. So just going through your coursework you will be pretty prepared for the exam,” said director of curriculum Tracey Landry.
The faculty is working to incorporate practice needed for the SAT in the classroom as well.
“Students will experience classroom instances where teachers orient individuals to the sections of the SAT. But equally important is the critical thinking, reading and writing work done daily in class. Students’ focus and participation in these critical thinking tasks is the best preparation possible,” said English department chair Sue Nielsen.
Students will have the opportunity to practice for the test by taking the practice tests.
“In October, all students will take a practice SAT. Freshmen will take one geared towards eighth and ninth graders. Sophomores and juniors will take a practice SAT that will help you to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. Those results can help students to set goals,” Landry said.
The school assures students that there is not a large difference between the SAT and ACT.
“Skill-wise it is not that different. It has a little different structure in certain areas, but I think what SAT is trying to do is ensure that they had a similar skill base and students could score similarly on both exams,” said associate principal for curriculum and instruction Jeff Shagrin.
Since the tests are similar, the school will continue to prepare students in some of the same ways as before.
“Teachers will prepare students in much the same way as they have for the ACT. In fact, teachers in the English, social studies, and science departments worked together this past summer to align teaching practices to the reading portions of the SAT. Additionally, English teachers have utilized staff development time to address specific teaching strategies that will have direct impact to the writing portion of the SAT,” Nielsen said.