PSA: Free SAT Tutoring

Caroline Bryant, Staff

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Although the school year has just begun, juniors have been studying for the SATs for months because SAT is the test of all tests.

Compared to other standardized exams, a student’s score on the SAT is one of the deciding factors in college acceptance. Because of this, many schools across the country do all they can to help prepare their students.

However, many students here at CHS refute this argument, debating that teachers have a difficult time including SAT skills into their daily curriculum.

“I think it’s hard to get teachers and guidance counselors involved,” Nikitha Mupparaju, junior said. “Since counselors have everyone in the school to focus on, it’s hard to find time to personally interact with them.”

Others thought the problem branched from parents and students, and not the teachers.

“I agree. It’s hard for teachers too because they aren’t sure whether to teach for the test or teach for the knowledge,” Bella Dongarra, junior added. “No matter what they do, students will complain that they’re teaching too much, while parents at home are critical that they’re not doing enough.”

Adding up core classes, electives, and APS, it’s difficult for some students to squeeze SAT prep into their school schedule. With this said, you may wonder, how and when will I prepare for the SAT? Outside classes can last for weeks, or even months, while certain practice books can be expensive. Luckily, here at Catonsville High, there is no need to worry! On weekend mornings after winter break, free SAT tutoring is available to those who need a little extra help.

“During prep, we practice a lot,” Chloe Fitch, junior, mentioned. “I think it helped a lot during the PSAT because I was able to choose between two answers by remembering everything we had learned.”

Plus, some felt that the tutoring focused not only the broad concept, but the minuscule details too.

“SAT tutoring helps me with small details, like commas and commonly confused words,” Olivia Totaro, junior, explained. “It makes me feel more prepared because I can get through the questions more quickly on the test. I am definitely more confident in my answers and hope it improved my score.”

Despite the appreciation for weekend tutoring, students wished teachers would have advertised the event. If they knew there was free tutoring, they wouldn’t have needed to go out and buy the expensive classes and books they already bought.

“I didn’t know opportunities like scholarships were offered for the PSAT until a friend told me the other day,” Hazel Montgomery-Walsh, junior, said. “I wish I knew earlier; it isn’t promoted much by the school guidance counselors.”

Fortunately, students who are worried can retake the test until they receive their ideal score. According to the College Board website, new exams cost $47.50, while tests with the essay question charge $64. Thankfully, with free SAT prep classes available, the barrier between financial classes is broken! Now, families with financial troubles can supply their student with the same opportunities richer families spend thousands of dollars on. In response, less people have to pay for the retest.

Mupparaju, who is especially passionate on the politics behind the SAT, praised Catonsville for the occasion.

“People with more money have always seemed to have an advantage. With this said, the SAT is definitely unfair if you don’t have the resources or chance to take free tutoring like we do.”

Hearing this, students can’t help to believe that income is College Board’s only priority.

“That’s why I think College Board strategizes against those with an economic advantage,” junior Beverly Bolster said. “It’s easier to enrich themselves that way.”