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Opinion

Larson: Glenbard District 87 emphasizes intentional preparation for SAT

Community Voice

David F. Larson is the superintendent of Glenbard Township High School District 87.
David F. Larson is the superintendent of Glenbard Township High School District 87.

We are focused on preparing students to be college and career ready, and part of that preparation involves students taking and achieving the highest score possible on the SAT exam. Glenbard Township High School District 87 and other high school districts across the state are making every effort to ensure all students are positioned to score well on this junior year exam. This preparation includes being engaged with the grades 8-11 SAT suite of assessments, ensuring students are taking the appropriate rigorous classes, and building students' confidence by having them participate in a targeted test preparation course.

Like the ACT, which the SAT replaced in 2015, there are multiple exams that are aligned to the 11th grade SAT exam. This suite of exams includes the following:

• Eighth-graders and freshmen take the Preliminary SAT 8/9 exam.

• Sophomores and juniors take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT-NMSQT). Sophomores take it to practice for the junior year administration. Juniors take it to be considered for the National Merit Scholarship competition.

• Juniors also will take the SAT with writing exam on April 10 and receive a college reportable score.

This comprehensive approach – and strong partnership with our sender districts – provides benchmarks of students’ progress toward a college-ready SAT exam score. One of the benefits of this aligned approach to testing is our teachers can make shifts in their instruction after students’ test results are reviewed.

The SAT exam includes three key sections. The math portion provides 80 minutes to answer 58 questions and requires students to have a strong background in algebra, problem solving and analysis, geometry, trigonometry and pre-calculus. The reading and writing portions are 65 and 35 minutes, respectively, and incorporate vocabulary, grammar usage, command of evidence, words in context and analysis in social studies and science. Rather than just facts, students need to have a strong focus on skills and in-depth understandings that are most important to success after high school.

The SAT total score ranges from 400 to 1600, and College Board, which administers the exam, has targeted a score of 1010 as reflective of being college and career ready. A score of 1010 will position a student to be accepted to a variety of four-year universities in Illinois.

As a proactive strategy to prepare our students, Glenbard is offering our juniors a free nine-week program to prepare for the SAT exam they will take April 10.

Afternoon and evening sessions will be twice a week from Jan. 29 through April 5. Juniors who participate will receive at least 20 hours of Khan Academy online support customized to each student’s areas of need. They also will take practice tests, participate in group work and receive coaching.

To sign up for this free resource for juniors, click here: shawurl.com/3765.

In Glenbard District 87, we strive to ensure each student is college and career ready and prepared for success in life after high school. This entails students taking challenging classes, following their passion by taking inspiring elective classes, building their intrinsic drive and developing their personal character. This preparation also includes ensuring all students are both prepared and confident, as they take the important SAT assessment during their junior year.

David F. Larson is the superintendent of Glenbard Township High School District 87.

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