SAT School Day

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satschooldayST. JOHNSBURY - St. Johnsbury Academy made a change this fall for the way their students participated in SAT testing. In September, the College Board selected the Academy to take part in a special program.  

Due to the high percentage of students that take the PSAT and SAT at the school, the Board invited only the Academy to participate in the SAT School Day program. The SAT School Day program is an opportunity for students to take their tests during a regular, but shortened, school day. The Academy accepted the invitation, and testing was conducted yesterday, on October 15th. 

The day was a required school day, and the Academy expected 100 percent participation from students in each grade. Seniors took the SAT, juniors and some sophomores took the PSAT, and freshmen and some sophomores took the ReadiStep test, in efforts to prepare them for the PSAT and SAT. 

One major benefit the school saw in conducting testing during a school day was to help open more doors to college by requiring participation.

According to a press release from the academy, Sean Murphy, Head of the St. Johnsbury Academy Guidance department said, "We hope students will realize that they have options they never had before. By mandating the program, these options may become clearer."

The College Board and the SAT College QuickStart program gave seniors completely free access to the Official SAT Online Course, and seniors will receive four free score reports. The school also covered all fees of the testing, meaning students did not have to pay. Murphy said that the cost the school incurred was between 17 to 18 thousand dollars. 

Also in the press release, Headmaster Tom Lovett said, "We feel this is a worthwhile investment in the aspirations of our students... even if only one student comes to recognize that he or she can pursue a college career because of this test day, our investment will be worth it." 

Other benefits the school recognized were that students would be tested in their usual class-room atmosphere during a school day. Athletes no longer had to choose between a sporting event or taking the test, students would not have to miss the exam for weekend jobs or for lack of transportation, and finally, students who are interested in early-decision applying to college would be done with testing sooner, and be sure to meet their deadlines. 

Murphy said today that 98 to 99 percent of students participated in the testing, missing their goal only slightly. 

"I thought the students were great, and we were happy to be selected for this. Almost 98 percent of our students will go on to further their education, so this test was necessary," Murphy said. 

Students can expect to receive their test results in about five weeks. Jeff Burroughs, Assistant Headmaster for Academics said the school can then determine how beneficial the SAT School Day program was to their students.