Students are awakening from their temporary, yet blissful, summer paradise as the 2015-2016 school year starts. Juniors are beginning to feel the oncoming pressure of test preparation and homework loads, as this school year determines a crucial step in their academic careers.
Two of the tests juniors are expected to take are the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) and the SAT. By October 2015, schools must administer the redesigned version of the PSAT, under which the scoring changes from a total score of 240 to 160, the math section introduces a “no-calculator permitted” section, and the critical reading and writing sections are slightly altered.
In addition, as of March 2016, the CollegeBoard will release the redesigned version of the SAT worldwide. The changes include, but are not limited to, score changes and an optional essay. Many juniors, who have yet to take the SAT and have studied under the test’s older criteria, feel urgency to achieve their desired score by January 2016.
In an interview with JSR, Alice Kim, a junior at Valencia High School this year, stated, “I feel like a guinea pig for the College Board because my junior class is the first class to test with the redesigned PSAT and SAT. I’m not sure what to expect, but I do know that I’m scared that the new test form will affect my performance and my score results.”
Additionally, junior students are obliged to try their hardest and produce their best forms of work throughout the school year because it is their final stretch before they must begin writing their college applications.
Another Valencia High School student, Melinda Guo, stated in an interview with JSR, “In an increasingly competitive field, the struggle to reach the top is more difficult and stressful. This year will be tough but, hopefully, rewarding.”
In conjunction with an increased amount of Advanced Placement (AP) tests and college entrance exams, junior students feel the enormous pressure to perform well because this school year will have such a large impact on their academic futures.