Who knew three letters could engender (SAT word guys) so much fear in 11th graders nationwide? The SAT, bane of almost every junior in high school’s existence; the monster under our beds, and the test emphasized by almost everyone as one of the most important days of your school career. And as I soon learned, a completely learnable test.

SAT test

Junior Year hadn’t even started and already it had begun. Discussion of the SAT among friends accompanied the giant prep books under everyone’s arm. Personally, I was anxious to get it over with. But as I entered into my first session with a private tutor, I was soon just plain anxious. It was like it was written in gibberish! I was all set to give up any hopes of a college career and move to some wood in the middle of nowhere to live out my shame when my tutor pointed something out to me.

“Look at the answers.” She said “What do you see?”

So I looked. And then I saw! The answers laid themselves out before my eyes, and I realized I was looking at a question that was of a 8th grade math level! I swear I had never felt true joy until that moment.

Months went by and I began to take down questions that had once stopped me in my tracks with ease. I read quicker, calculated with less grunts of frustration, and overall began producing better scores. All with the guide of my tutor, whom I now realize was the key to my success. Of course it was on me to do better and to do my work, but she pushed me to stop whining about how I couldn’t do a problem and actually make me do it. Without my tutor I would probably still be envisioning my future hermit life.

Now that the SAT has come and gone and I turn my attention to the stack of college applications in front of me, its clear that fear is part of the test. In fact its the worst part; harder than any reading comprehension or math section could be. It comes down to just learning the tricks of the test, and having a great teacher to help you do so.

Next Week…

The Applications begin.