Students build career, college prep experience

by Mariam Elassal/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Trystan Ailes, Jonathan Brown, and Evan McLaughlin, all 11, study for the SAT test coming up in December. 

Don’t Fear the Future Day took place on Oct. 24, when freshman went on a field trip; sophomore and juniors proceeded to take PSAT or Accuplacer in preparation for the standardized test that all high schoolers are required to take prior to graduation. Seniors also went on college visits in search of their potential future schools. Don’t fear the future day is intended to prepare sophomores and juniors for the SAT. By taking the PSAT, students get an idea of the SAT and how test day will look like.

Test day can be very stressful but taking the appropriate steps at the right time can be crucial to not only lessen test anxiety but to also help students plan for a bright future after high school. Mr. Tim Horsman, counseling department, recommended that students take advantage of the resources on collegeboard.com.  “For the PSAT in particular, every student that signs up for the test gets a full practice exam and student guide in order to help them prepare for what they will see on the test,” Horsman said. “It is also important to give oneself enough time to study for the test without being rushed or pressured,” Horsman said.

After the test has been taken and scores are received, students are given a booklet to compare the answers. This gives them the opportunity to see what they got wrong and how to improve. Mrs. Jill Slinker, English department, also recommended, “To prepare for the test, it is great to take practice exams, and work on timing. Khan Academy Online works with the College Board to provide excellent practice materials that are free to use.” She also stated that students should get a good night’s sleep, bring a watch, all registration materials, and to dress in layers as the weather in test buildings can be unpredictable.

Kori Dixon, 12, has taken the SAT twice. “I was fairly satisfied with my scores, especially since most colleges accept a super scored test.” A superscored test means colleges will take the best score a person received, regardless of the amount of times a person took the test.

Dixon said, “I’ve been accepted into Indiana Wesleyan University and plan to attend this college during fall of 2018.” Dixon stated that she found the most effective way to study is to take practice SAT tests.

Test anxiety is an issue that, unfortunately, can affect almost everyone at one point. Horsman advocated that students go into the test room confident and calm. Slinker stated, “The best way to combat test anxiety is to be prepared. Know the format of the test and questions, and have a strategy to attack the questions ahead of time.” She also suggested that after the test, test-takers not think about the test until the scores come in.  

Don’t Fear the Future Day was a busy day, but GC administrators and counselors plan this day to prepare students for their future whether it be testing, going on job shadows, college tours, field trips, etc. The idea behind the day is to build confidence in students as they take steps to advance after high school.