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Seniors share their thoughts on taking the SATs

January 20, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

We asked the high school seniors who agreed to participate in our monthly Senior Moments series the following question: Have you taken the SAT yet? If so, how did you prepare? (And if you feel comfortable, share your score.)

Christiana Gagnon, 17

Williamsport High School

Williamsport High School senior Christiana Gagnon will take the SAT for the third time on Saturday.

Christiana took the college entrance exam in her sophomore and junior years and said she's hoping to improve her score again.

Her highest score has been 1,670 out of a possible 2,400.

She has prepared for the test by taking practice SAT tests on the College Board Web site, www.collegeboard.com.

"There are little things you can do," Christiana said. "But there's not really much you can do to prepare."

Meagan Graff, 17

North Hagerstown High School

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Meagan Graff took the SAT for the third time this school year. The North High senior said she took the college entrance exam in her freshman, sophomore and senior years of high school.

While Meagan admits that studying for the SAT is difficult, she did borrow an SAT study book from a teacher at school, she said.

"I studied the week before the test," she said. "I did practice problems from previous SATs."

That helped her become familiar with the types of questions she would see on the exam, Meagan said.

Meagan said she tried much harder on her most recent SAT and raised her score 190 points from 1,630 to 1,820 out of a possible 2,400.

"That's pretty decent," she said. "I mainly took it again because I was trying to get at least a 1,700 for a scholarship."

Alvin Missouri, 17

Washington County Technical High School

Alvin Missouri said that he is planning to take the SAT, but hasn't had a chance yet.

"But for right now, I'm going to sign up for the ACT, and then take the SAT," the Washington County Technical High School senior said.

The ACT is a college entrance exam that tests general knowledge.

"It never hurts to take both of them," Alvin said.

He said he might take the SAT closer to the end of the school year.

"I'm probably going to do some studying just to make sure I know the stuff," he said. "That way, I don't do bad on it."

Christopher Mozingo, 17

South Hagerstown High School

South High senior Christopher Mozingo says he probably will not take the SAT.

He said he doesn't need to take the test for what he plans to do after high school. Those plans include entering the military or attending Hagerstown Community College.

Stacey Pittman, 18

Hancock Middle-Senior High School

Hancock Middle-Senior High School senior Stacey Pittman said she has taken the ACT instead of the SAT.

The ACT assesses high school students' general education development and their ability to complete college-level work, according to the college entrance exam's Web site, www.act.org.

Stacey said the college she is going to does not require either the ACT or the SAT. She's been accepted to Allegany College of Maryland, and plans to study to become a medical assistant.

To prepare for the ACT, which she took last month, Stacey used study guides, she said.

"I haven't gotten my scores back yet, but I think I did pretty decent," she said.

Misbah Shafi, 17

Smithsburg High School

Misbah Shafi said she's taken the SAT twice, along with three subject tests.

The Smithsburg High School senior prepared by taking practice tests with The Princeton Review books.

"They really helped me, and I boosted my score by 100 points," Misbah said. "Though, in my opinion, I think these tests have nothing to do with how smart you are, but how well you can take a test."

Misbah said she knows of some students who have high grades, but have low SAT scores.

"And when that happens, you stress even more because you know colleges will see your score," she said. "However, there are students who have really high scores, and I think that's pretty amazing and impressive."

Nicodeme Agassy Wanko, 17

Boonsboro High School

Nicodeme Agassy Wanko took the SAT last summer and said he doesn't plan to take it again.

The Boonsboro High School senior said he was satisfied with his score. Nicodeme, who is called Nico, said he studied a "little bit" for the college entrance exam and concentrated equally on the three parts ? math, reading and writing.

"It was all about the same," he said.

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