The SAT is a standardized test by College Board used for college admissions in the United States. Boot camp, often associated with the military, is an intensive and rigorous course of training. Together, one might say that the SAT Boot Camp is a living hell for students.
Every summer since 2011, Gateway Academy Los Angeles holds its Summer SAT Boot Camp, a four to eight week long summer program to prepare students for the SAT. Held from July 2 to 27 this year, it was “designed to push students to their limits and unleash their potential.” Director Esther Hong of Gateway Academy LA says, “In this boot camp, students take many practice exams so that they will be confident when taking the real test. Also, the more exposed students are to the types of problems in the SAT/ACT, it will help boost their scores.”
Although there may be a few variations, what is the typical schedule for students in this camp? Four days a week, they take a practice SAT with an essay each day, starting promptly at 9am. After more than four hours of testing and several five minute breaks, they receive their 40 minute lunch time to eat and rest. Then the students are divided into two groups, and they review the test with teachers, going over every problem that they got wrong. The english and math sessions each take two hours, and after four hours of test review, the students leave at 6pm to go home, only to repeat the same process the next day. On Wednesdays, an ACT test, rather than the SAT, is taken and reviewed so that students are aware of the alternate test offered for college admissions. On Thursdays, the review session is solely for the essay, in which students are able to reread their previous essays and learn about various writing styles to enhance their essays. This meticulous camp certainly requires much time and energy from all students, parents, and teachers.
So what do students think of this SAT boot camp? Edward Song, a rising junior, explains that this program is “very insightful. Although it’s very tiring, I enjoy it and learn a lot.” Elliot Shin, a coming sophomore from out of state, adds, “It is very educational, and it’s nice to meet new people. A good experience overall.” In general, most students agree that attending this camp is an effective method that helps their SAT scores improve, slowly but surely over the next few weeks.
As tiring and dreadful this camp might be, it will surely give back positive results to the students for their hard work and perseverance over the summer.
Noorim Oh, Grade 11
North Hollywood High School