As school starts, incoming juniors and even some seniors are dreading the terrifying standardized test that is the SAT. When my junior year of high school was nearing, I wish I had someone tell me to calm down and stop stressing over them. I lost a lot of sleep just not being able to turn off all the anxious thoughts I had about taking the test. You don't have to go through this, because I'm here to tell you to chill out and honestly, they really aren't that bad.
When you haven't taken the SAT and you hear all the hype surrounding it and the importance of it stressed by your teachers, advisors and even other students, it becomes easy to see the SAT as this giant barrier blocking you from all your hopes and dreams. Hyperboles (a really good word to know for the test) like "I won't get into any college with a bad score" or "I will never be successful unless I get a good score" enter your head, and none of these thoughts are even remotely correct (hence the hyperbole).
First, colleges are taking a more holistic approach to applications, which means, yes, they look at your SAT scores, but they also look at your extracurriculars, your grades and GPA, community service hours, your entrance essay and more. This means that your SATs definitely aren't the end all be all of getting into college. You might have a lower score than average, but a well rounded collection of after school activities, good grades, a ton of service hours and a stellar essay will still make you a great candidate.
Second, your SAT score does NOT define you. Success is not based off the number of grammar or math questions you got correct on a test you took at age 16. And on top of that, a low score doesn't signify stupidity because everyone thinks and learns differently and has different skills. Just because precalculus wasn't your thing doesn't mean you can't be successful as an artist or writer. If your SAT score doesn't get you into an Ivy League school, there are plenty of other colleges to choose from.
Please don't misconstrue this as me telling you the SAT doesn't matter at all, because it 100% does. Take it seriously and put in the effort in to study and take practice tests, because if you aren't going to give the test your all, then what is the point? If you want a high score, then go for it, but a low score is not the end of the world. (Plus, you can always take it again!)
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