SAT Advice and Planning for a Career

College. For me? Just typing it freaks me out.

Writing it, it doesn’t look like a real word. It looks like just a bunch of letters smushed together. And I NEVER thought 7 little letters could be so frightening.

But I’m not there yet, I have a little time. I’m not a college student yet. I’m not even a high school senior yet! I’m just finishing up my junior year of high school!

(And unfortunately, I’m the oldest sibling and cousin in my family so me and my mom are completely alone in this whole “preparing for college” thing.)

(Also unfortunately) At my school, we don’t really get much help from our guidance department regarding college planning and preparing for the SATs. With that said, all of the advice I have to give are from my own experiences going into this endeavor completely blind.

Let’s get right to it: the SATs.

(I’m the weirdo that LOVES the SATs.) What’s a good score? What’s a bad score? Don’t worry about statistics, you’re not a number. Just do the best that YOU can. Don’t stress; if you talk to most schools, they only really care about your (2 part) Reading and Math scores. And now a lot of schools SUPERSCORE. Superscoring is when they take your highest score in each section regardless if they’re all on the same test date.

Study session

Study session by Flickr user Francis

Okay, now how do you boost your score? The advice that I’m about to give you is said over and over again: the only way to do better on the SATs is to practice.

  • Go to Barnes and Noble, get that really thick blue book and do the practice tests.
  • Log onto College Board and take the practice tests online.
  • Do the questions of the day.

A few more tips specifically for Test Day that helped me:

  • get a GOOD nights sleep (I’m serious, don’t go to bed at 11)
  • relax (just do your best)
  • try and get in the best mood possible when you enter the classroom and begin the test
  • bring lots of snacks
  • bring tissues ESPECIALLY if you’re taking the test in December
  • lastly (and what I think is most important) if you aren’t 60-70% sure of your answer, DON’T answer it. Remember with this test, you’re allowed to skip questions

And your SAT scores can either loosely or strictly determine what programs or colleges you can be accepted into which leads into the question: What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Think about what you like to do.

I love working with children. I volunteer coaching a girls cheerleading team ages 7-9 over the summer. To do my part and help children, I wanted to be a pediatric psychiatrist. And then I did my research. Research is KEY. I found out that to be in this profession I would need to go to medical school and then with my residency would add up to over 12 years of schools. And I don’t know what freaked me out more: med school or how long I’d be in school for. So then I thought: what about pediatric optometry? I got glasses at a young age so I’d be able to ease kids into the transition. And then I realized that I have absolutely zero interest in the human eye. For me: I want to make a difference in a child’s life every day. Not once a week like a psychiatrist. Not once a year like an optometrist. That’s when it hit me: to really influence a child on an everyday basis, the best place for me to do this would be in a classroom. So I decided I’m going to go to school to become a kindergarten teacher and get my business degree so I have the option of opening my own daycare.

But where is yet to be decided. I’ll keep you posted. (:

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