Juniors will take the SAT on March 3

State mandates assessment as replacement for ISTEP


School counselor Mr. Martin Kirkwood discussed the SAT that juniors will take on March 3.

Daniel Kent, Reporter

With the widely dreaded ISTEP test now gone, the SAT will be the new standard for juniors across the state.

The Junior Class will take the test on March 3, which is a change from the original March 2 date, which conflicted with Ash Wednesday. As freshmen, sophomores and seniors will not take the SAT, they will have an asynchronous eLearning day. Juniors also will be expected to complete Schoology assignments in all their classes on March 3. 

The change from the ISTEP test to the SAT was mandated by the state, and it is something that school counselor and College Board test coordinator Mr. Martin Kirkwood said was “appropriate because there’s a lot of reasons behind it. From what I understand, the main thing is (the state) wants to make sure our students at the high school level are prepared for and aware of opportunities after high school,” Kirkwood said. 

Kirkwood said he believes the test encourages secondary training or education in students’ futures. 

The test will take place from 8:45 a.m. to noon, but students with extended-time accommodations will test continue until 2 p.m. Kirkwood said, “We plan to put 20 students in a classroom for regular time, and those that have extended time have small group accommodations which will have 15 or less in the classroom.” Students will receive their classroom assignments via email before the test day.

Kirkwood noted that students with extended time will receive a snack, and those with free and reduced lunch can get a boxed lunch if they want. Otherwise, juniors will not be eating on the Hill. 

The test will be in a digital format, and students will use their personal iPads to take the test which is part of a pilot program. Due to the SAT’s confidentiality, the devices must have a secure browser. 

Kirkwood explained that there were a few issues with some students’ iPads during the pre-administration of the test due to different iOS versions. Several students’ iPads were updated to the most recent operating system, which is not compatible with the secure browser software, and some had old systems which are also not compatible. Kirkwood said, “We’re sending an email out to tell students to not update their iOS.”

Juniors should take advantage of their PSATs from the fall, Khan Academy and supplemental materials given out during the pre-administration of the test to help prepare for the SAT. Kirkwood said, “The more familiar you are with the instructions and the types of questions, the more efficient you will be; you will answer as many questions as possible.”

Kirkwood said, “Take this test seriously and give your best performance, but you will be OK regardless of how you perform on this test.”