Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
  • Stanford University
  • Princeton University

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    International Office Director

Junior Year SAT Test

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep video

Coming up in March, many high school juniors will take on the SAT test for the first time. Despite all your best efforts to prepare for the SAT test, chances are you will not “crush” the test and reach your highest potential score. Why? In this prepcast, I discuss why junior year SATs are for most a developmental step towards your final SAT goal.

Junior Year SAT Test (transcript)

Karl Schellscheidt: Hi, I’m Karl Schellscheidt. Welcome to ePrep. This podcast is for the juniors, this year’s juniors. You guys are going to be taking the SAT for the first time as a class in March and I just want to give you a little advice. I’ve been tutoring kids for about 16 years now. I tutor tons of kids every year and it is the rare student who goes in in March of junior year and crushes the SAT never to take it again.

You go in. You do the best you can. Try not to be nervous, but you might be; it’s not a big deal. You can take the SATs a few times, colleges will look at your highest scores. Don’t get down on yourself if you’ve prepared and you don’t go in and crush it in March. It’s probably just nerves. Continue to prepare. Take it again in May. Take it again in June if you have to, and you still have all of next fall.

I have a masters degree in education and there’s one class that I took called “On Human Development”. One thing I learned from the class that I will never forget is that your brain is a physical organ in your body. So as your heart develops and your body develops, your brain is also developing physically. And the brain does not stop developing physically until you reach about the age of 18. So some of you guys are not even at full maturity yet, so your brain is not even capable of everything that it will be capable of one day.

If you go through a test and you find yourself making careless errors and you can’t figure out, there may be some legitimate reasons for it, but it may just be that your brain isn’t fully developed yet and the kind of stuff that you’re messing up on now you may not mess up on seven months from now, eight months from now when you’re a senior in high school.

So be patient with yourself. Again, it’s the very rare student who goes in in March and crushes the thing. Chances are it’s not going to happen. Don’t be discouraged. And listen, I’m not saying that if you do terribly that you should just not worry about it. You should continue to study. Prepare yourself the best you can because if you prepare well for the SAT you will also be preparing yourself for college, which is very important. But the bottom line is this, don’t be shocked if you don’t get that killer score first time around. Hang in there. If you stick with it you will get there eventually, and if you have the passion that you need you will get into the college of your choice.

Karl Schellscheidt

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