When applying to colleges, I already knew what field I wanted to study: Music Education. That was the easy part. From there I had to decide to which schools I wanted to apply. I researched schools in my area that had great Music Education programs. After I decided on four schools to which I wanted to apply, I researched the criteria that was required for acceptance into each university. Specifically, I researched how well I needed to do on my SAT or ACT in order to gain acceptance. It just so happened that my top-choice school required the highest score. I hadn’t even considered test prep at this point, however.
I went into the SAT knowing I needed to score above a 1600 (at the time the test was out of 2400). I didn’t think achieving this would be too difficult so I did no test prep whatsoever beforehand. My only preparation came from looking over the SAT prep book. My biggest issue when taking the SAT the first time was that I didn’t want to leave any answers blank. This was a huge error on my part because it was costing me points.
I realized quickly into the testing process that I should have received some test prep. Not only did I use the wrong strategies when taking the test, but I also did not study enough of the information. The first time I took the test I received a 1560 as a test score. Not a bad score, but definitely not good enough to get me into my top-choice university. Universities look at more than just SAT/ACT scores, but in order to have the highest chance of acceptance I decided to take the test a second time.
Yet again, I did no test prep because I knew what to expect so I felt more confident going in. I did the best I could the second time but I was still left with nerves when the test finished. I waited and waited on my results and then finally they came in. I had received a 1740. Even after receiving a higher score, one that provided me acceptance to all the universities I chose, I still wished I had taken an SAT prep course, or hired someone who could help me with studying strategies, or even help with test-taking skills. If I had just done that the first time around, I have no doubt that my score would have been significantly higher the first time.
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