SAT STRESS: students under pressure from standardized testing

Emma Jaber, Arts Editor

For all Durango High School juniors, the the SAT and ACT are imminent. The stress around these tests stem from the importance they hold on college applications and the pressure put on the necessity of a good score.

The SAT scores out of 1600 while the ACT is out of 36. With so much information online about what schools accept, and what the lowest (and highest) score accepted is, students are constantly comparing themselves to different standards from different colleges. Good grades and a consistent GPA, extracurriculars, and community service are all important to colleges but for some reason, the test score reported can seemingly make or break an acceptance.

Different aspects of the test stress students out, especially when taking both.

“ I’m taking both the SAT and the ACT. The PSAT was stressful and it seemed like a waste of time. I’m just stressed about it because ultimately, if you don’t do well you don’t get into college” said Jr. Taylor Colsman.

A range of scores are accepted at almost all schools, and there’s always a college out there that will accept a certain score, even it’s considered low by another institution. But this isn’t typically what students are concerning themselves with. The idea that their perfect college won’t accept them because of a test score can be earth shattering, but also supply a much needed reality check.

At DHS, SAT prep is offered to all juniors and is highly recommended. The single semester course also includes a 900 page test prep book supplied by the school board to every student in the class. This class has the potential to save students from paying extensive tutoring costs and from purchasing supplemental test prep materials.

“ I’m not in SAT prep so I won’t be taking the course until right before I have to take the SAT, which is stressful.  I think people put too much stress on the test. A test score doesn’t determine a person’s worth or ability” said Colsman.

For those students in the class, the stress seems more immediate. Some students took the SAT December 2nd, and for others, the ACT was on December 9th.

“It’s pretty stressful to take the SAT, I didn’t really know what to expect plus I had to go all the way to Pagosa which wasn’t ideal” said DHS Jr. Logan Fullington

Many people think that colleges put too much weight on score reporting, making students believe that their scores are the most important part of their application.

“I think it’s a common testing ground for students, especially if you don’t have a good GPA. If you don’t have good test taking skills though, that doesn’t help. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles” said Fullington.