To some high school students, taking the SAT is the most crucial part of their high school careers. It will determine their futures. They know every college’s requirements and can rattle off hundreds of bizarre vocabulary words in their sleep. To others, it is just another annoyance, another pressure from teachers and parents. In their minds, these vocabulary words are gibberish. They would rather think about more exciting topics, like prom.
However, no matter who you are or what it means to you, taking the SAT is exhausting. After a work-filled week of school, mountains of homework, and likely hours of sports, the last thing you want to do is wake up before the sun rises for a sixth day in a row, and even better, have your brain function substantially. The four-hour test somehow manages to ruin your entire weekend. You find yourself confessing, “I can’t, I’m taking the SAT” left and right to your friends sharing Friday night plans. By the time the test is over on Saturday, it’s halftime at the football game and the parking lot of the mall is full. Even so, you are mentally drained and cannot help but catch up on all of those hours of sleep you were stripped of.
Even if you do not let the social disadvantages faze you, there is no avoiding the frustration that comes with the test itself. For every question the test asks, you ask yourself a hundred more. At times it feels as if everything you have ever learned is jumping out at you, and at other times, everything you have learned disappears. You start to wonder if you fell asleep during a math lesson, and try to imagine the exact words that your English teacher said. The seconds you spend both evil eying the boy next to you tapping his foot and the girl in the corner clicking her pen, add up to minutes that you cannot afford to lose. You hear the proctor say there are five minutes left while you stare at the twenty unanswered questions in front of you, and a mixed feeling of panic and defeat strikes. By twelve o’clock, all of the words lose their meaning and every number looks the same.
The final, and arguably worst phase of the SAT is waiting for the results. You are now on a first name basis with the mailman. Opening an envelope with your name on it, containing a bolded score of “400”, has become a common nightmare. If you are lucky, the emotional rollercoaster that is the SAT will remain just a memory. Sadly, most have to go for the ride all over again.
By Danielle LaTesta ’17, Staff Writer