SAT test is stressful for students

The SAT just happened on April 9th for Bay City Public Schools. The SAT is a standardized test measuring a student’s skills in Critical Reading, Math, and Writing. Students in grades 11 and 12 take the SAT to submit their scores to colleges as part of the college application process.

This test can be incredibly stressful because the college that the high school graduates apply to will see your scores and judge to see if you meet the standards based on how well you did.

Bay City Public Schools scheduled the SAT for after spring break, which made a lot of students upset and increased anxiety. One teacher explained that the school did not have a lot of choice when scheduling the test.

That didn't help students who were facing the test.

"I was not prepared for the test when I got back from vacation. Everything that I had done to practice was a blur," says Maverick Rivard.

Alexander Barry, a junior at Bay City Western High School was especially stressed out because of the proctor that was monitoring the students during testing.

“I’d say what stressed me out the most in particular was my proctor," Barry says.

"She talked very harshly about the test, which I felt made it harder to relax during the 10-minute breaks. Especially when she would continuously talk about how difficult the new module system of the SAT is, only serving to make me more anxious, rather than preparing me. I also feel like the tone of her voice added to the uncomfortable atmosphere. A stern voice with barely any other talk in such an environment just makes it feel like the walls are closing in on me.”

Molly Baldauf, a teacher at Bay City Western High School, attested that the timing was inconvenient for students. But Baldauf also says the district had few choices when it came to scheduling the test.

"I think that the timing of the SAT is not ideal for young people," Baldauf says.

"Students return from Spring Break and then one day later are expected to take a standardized test that for many could dictate the path they take in life. Although this is stressful, many students don’t know that the state only allows for a certain timeframe for schools to administer the SAT and often the week after Spring Break is the only time they are able to successfully complete all testing."

However, Baldauf also recognized that the lack of options doesn't make students feel any calmer about the test.

"This does not help ease the anxiety of students as they don’t understand the logistics behind state testing though. Often, this frustration can lead to even more anxiety and exponentially build upon the stress of the test."

The SAT will always be a topic when going into high school and it ultimately leads to increased anxiety among students and affects their performance.
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