EHHS juniors took the first edition of the Online SAT on March 25, 29-30, 2022 in EHHS gymnasium due to the executive decision made by the administration and CollegeBoard.
The SAT is a nation-wide standardized test taken by juniors in high school to track their growth as a student. This year EHHS juniors take the SAT online. The SAT is run by a company called CollegeBoard. This year,the College Board decided to change the test to an online format rather than paper. EHHS teachers have only given the paper version of the test. However, this year they experienced changes due to the online version of SATs.
The Online SAT is a faster and easier way to get the score to qualify for college. Mrs. Lisa Veleas, the English Instructional Leader and coordinator of the SAT said “It is supposed to be two weeks from now (April 12) or 2-3 weeks after they take the SAT. In each SAT test, teachers are proctoring to monitor the students.” Ms. Veleas said “[They] choose the proctors who had a good experience with technology skill and are less nervous if something is wrong.” Since this is their first year testing online, they have some technical difficulties including, “student chromebook freezing, a lack of chargers, and students weren't able to charge or plug [them in], but the tech service did a great job of putting extension cords in so it's easy for them to access and that part went smoothly.” Future SAT students should provide their own chargers in case they run out of battery and EHHS Technology does not have enough chargers for everyone who's taking the SAT.
EHHS is not the only school that does online SAT. There were some technical difficulties with the online tests. Mr. Adam Gardner, an EHHS history teacher stated, “One student encountered a network connection problem. It wasn't the wifi; it was connecting to the SAT or college board server, but it took so long for her exam to start that everyone else had to wait because you can't start when everyone is connected and it's just a matter of waiting.”
SATs assist students in determining where they need to grow and where they need to improve, and they benefit both students and teachers. Ms. Veleas, the English instructor leader said, “It is an important test for every junior or anybody who's taking it and it is good for the school system or town to look at whether or not we're helping our students to grow and to see if we're making progress. The skills that were tested on the SAT are skills about thinking deeply and problem solving. EHHS teachers and students were aware that Collegeboard was having an online SAT because of the representative of the state and through email. EHHS had ESL junior students with accomodations take their SAT first and they had more time than the other junior students. EHHS ESL Junior are the students whose second language is English. Ms. Veleas said “ESL students get the extended time and that is because of the accountability test in Connecticut if an English learner (without accommodations) took the test on Saturday they don't get the extended time. It is very beneficial for students who have language proficiency issues because they have time to think about the wording and process the text. If English isn't your first language it takes longer to do the test. Student may have access to the word to word dictionary if their english learners and that to help to even the flied plain just to show what they know and different between the ESL and non ESL or the EHHS junior is only the extended time and the dictionary and doest give u definition it just give you the word match in your language.” For this year, the proctors were Ms. Valsamis, Mrs. Ellis, and Ms. Parasento. Mr. Hickey, an EHHS ESL Teacher, helps to explain directions in their native language.
The EHHS administration chooses the location where the EHHS junior took their SAT in the EHHS gymnasium. The EHHS students took their SAT in the gym over the course of two days and different students tested on different days based on their last name alphabetically. It was proctored by English teacher Ms. Emelia Caturano, the Guidance counselors History teacher Mr. Adam Gardner and other teachers that had free blocks because they didn't want to leave the students in their classes that were not taking the SAT that day. For Ms. Veleas, the first year of taking the SAT, “It was successful so far”. Mr. Gardner needed to see the score first before judging because “kids respond differently on paper and through chromebook some kids like technology over paper to have everything in front of them nice and organize some people like flipping books back and forth” and he thinks it was successful because he learn how to fix to errors, challenges and for the day and better prepare and being able to help the student who's struggling.
Juniors at EHHS have developed their own strategies for preparing for the SAT.. Mia Flores-Soto, an EHHS Junior said, “I did not do much to prepare besides looking over a few sample questions online for the math portion.” Katherine Tapia Argudo, another EHHS Junior said: '' I have studied through Kaplan and Khan Academy since January. It put a lot of pressure on me, but it was good because I knew how much time I had left.” When it comes to preparing for the online SAT, not everyone uses the same strategy or manages their time in the same way. Finally, they complete their test on time, with some students finishing ahead of schedule.
You may have had negative experiences or received a low SAT score on paper or online. It's not the end of your chapter; you're just getting started. Keep working toward your goal; you can take more than one and your efforts will be rewarded.