Alexis Ramirez, Editor

Your favorite season is already here. Forget pumpkin spice lattes, oversized sweaters, and relatable teen alt-rock bops that make your realize how dead you are inside because we’re not talking about autumn. (If you want some great sad tunes, I strongly recommend The Neighborhood’s 2014 Mixtape #FFFFFF & #000000.) Instead, think leaves and acorns. What season are we walking about today? It’s #SATSZN, brought to you by the College Board

It’s time to get back on that scholar lifestyle because apparently colleges tend to like you more if you score well. Thankfully they also care a lot about other admission requirements like essays and interviews so your score is far from being the be-all end-all. Ultimately, your SAT score is not an accurate indicator of your intelligence or your unique abilities so don’t beat yourself up if you’re trying your best.

As most of you already know, all juniors are required to take the PSAT/NMSQT on October 10. It’s important to note that your PSAT score does actually matter. High test scores can lead to National Merit Scholarships. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation uses PSAT scores to qualify semi finalists who are then considered for the National Merit Scholarship competition. Additionally, the PSAT is a good way to familiarize yourself with the structure and process of taking the SAT.

In an interview with the Beacon, outstanding student Joshua Yon, ‘19, stated, “The key to the SAT is familiarizing yourself with the test.” The best way to learn about the test is to “practice, practice, practice.” Although lots of practice is evidently essential when preparing for the SAT, don’t feel overwhelmed as you don’t need to spend half of your day studying on a daily basis. Joshua recommends 30 to 60 minutes of focused studying every day. If you are someone who has trouble concentrating while studying, you can try using an app like Forest along with instrumental music or white noise to get you in the zone.

SAT prep resources are plentiful but not all are created equal. You can choose between private tutoring, either private or in a classroom setting, or self-studying. A very general resource for those who self-study is the  SAT subreddit, a discussion site for all things SAT. Services like Khan Academy, Joshua’s personal favorite, and UWorld (you can find a 3-month trial link provided by Donald Keyman for both the SAT and ACT test banks on their corresponding subreddits) are ideal for quick daily practice. The College Board offers 8 free full length practice tests which you can use to track your progress. In addition to the answer explanations offered by the College Board, a man by the name of 1600.io offers free video explanations for the first four practice tests. The other four are available for $19 each. In addition to the the 8 practice tests, you can find 6 real tests from previous QAS dates in the subreddit’s community info sidebar. If you prefer to prepare in a more “traditional” way, prep books are an option for you. SAT Guides by Erica L. Meltzer are highly acclaimed for Reading and Writing Preparation. College Panda is the highest rated prep book for Math.

Now that you know where to look for help, it’s time to get on that grind. Please remember to take care of yourself and prioritize your health. Make sure you aren’t excessively stressing yourself out. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. The best thing you can do is to try your best. If you try your best, you should always be proud of what you accomplish. Good luck!