First Time SAT Taker

Stephanie Ballesteros, Staff Writer

My entire Instagram and Snapchat feed is bombarded with SAT related talk. I have never been more freaked out in my entire life. Of course, I always knew that at some point in my high school life I would have to take the SAT. However, with it being dated for this Wednesday, I feel like it’s way too soon.

I’ve been trying to squeeze whole years worth of Khan Academy practice in like about two weeks. Personally, I do better at English than Math, no question about that. Therefore, when I see my low scores on basic geometry questions on Khan Academy, you can see why I’m stressing.

In my household, I will be the first one to take the SAT, my older siblings decided to skip theirs. That’s not an option for me. I have always dreamt of getting into a four-year university. But like most of the high school students, I’m not a great test taker. I double think my answers, I take too much time on one article, I get easily distracted, and for some reason, I always want to get up and drink water.

Having most of my friends talk about how this is going to be like their 5th time taking the SAT, makes me even more nervous. I wish I would’ve signed up for previous SAT testing dates. I think there are millions of things I could’ve done to prepare myself for this big test. However, I’m not here to bring any other student down; on the contrary, here are some tips to help us get through this test.


Don’t stay up until 4 am the night before the SAT studying. This is cram study, there’s a less likely chance of your brain retaining the information with this study way.

Trust yourself.

Don’t get nervous about your answers. Trust your first instincts. Remember all of those times that you had put C on your scantron and then changed it to B, only to later find out that the correct answer was indeed C.

Manage your time.

We only get 65 minutes for the reading portion and there are 52 multiple choice questions. We get 35 minutes for 44 questions on the reading and writing portion. We have 80 minutes for 58 questions on the Math portion. And finally, they give us 50 minutes to write a whole essay. Make sure to divide your time accordingly.

Don’t stress, just guess.

Obviously, there is hardly any time to thoroughly read all of the passages, questions, AND work out the math problems. Don’t spend an entire 10 minutes trying to crack down a question, just Christmas tree it and move on to the next.


Yes, this test is really scary, especially if it’s your first time taking it. However, walk into that room confident about yourself and you’ll be fine. If you don’t get the score you want on the first try, you always have time to retake however more times you need.