Stages of the SAT


Real Life Image showing the mass excitement and atmosphere of happiness during an SAT Exam.

The SAT. We all know it as the horror that walks the halls of high schools. Before it leaves us for good, let’s go over what it feels like. The SAT occurs over 8 stages, each getting worse than before:

Stage 1: Entering the test. You’re too nervous to think. The cold room seems to be designed to make you remember how sad your life is. Blank faces surround you.  Let’s just get this over with. You rush to the bathroom to take a pre-SAT pee. No, that’s too easy. You must assert your dominance. Staring into the eyes of the proctor, he looks back in fear, in horror as you tinkle and sprinkle. Now, he knows not to mess with you.

Stage 2: Opening the booklets. The horrible long reading paragraphs flash in your eyes. From scientific articles to historical accounts, your eyelids begin to feel heavy. You glance back at the proctor in a sense of appeal only to meet their cold, unforgiving eyes. Looks like the bathroom plan didn’t go too well. The words swim around your brain and tears already swell in your eyes as you realize more time went into HarryxGinny fandom you were fantasizing about rather than studying for this. Oh, how much you hate those stupid old passages. Why can’t they just write normally goddammit? Why the hell do they feel the need to indulge us in their thoughts? We couldn’t care less about 

Stage 3: Grammar. The one non-hellish section. At least, questions seem to make sense because sentences are simpler. You read and silently press pencil lead on paper. Reading out the answer options back to yourself, you debate over which prepositions fit the best. 44 questions later, you’ve finally reached the end, 50% through the test and 100% bored.

Stage 4: Breaktime! You do nothing but stand for 5 seconds and stay on your phone. Scrolling through Reddit, life starts to look up for once. You chuckle at r/dankmemes. Wallstreetbets has taken over the entire internet. Just when things are looking good, you hear those dreaded words, “The break is over, time to start again.” Legs heavy and eyes drooping, you force yourself back in, just like a trooper returning to the battlefield.

Stage 5: Math. Your brain is getting juiced now. Those shitty margins are so small for doing work. Heck, even your motivation to finish this test is bigger. You ask for scratch paper. The proctor begrudgingly hands you blank paper and gives you a stare of death. “Better not be doing anything fishy”, his eyes seem to say. If only you did Algebra as well as you procrastinate. Even the Scantron machines would be horrified as to how one can mess up math so badly.

Stage 6: Essay. Time to start adding boring filler details. You find the insignificant rhetorical elements and start writing. You pretend to care about this author but in reality, you really think they’re as insightful as raisin bran. Keep writing, ya filthy animal. You’re finally done. Time to invade Russia… or watch some TV. Who even cares at this point.

Stage 7: Waiting. You wait. Anxious. Nervous. Careless. Whatever. The constant refreshing of your email and the website starts after a few weeks. You try to get a snack but even the goldfish and caesar salad special looks at you with sadness. After a few months, it is finally time.
Stage 8: Your score. You hit enter on the website and it pops up. What did you get? We lean in waiting to hear, ears perked up. -Error 401! You see a message at the bottom. “We apologize, but Collegeboard is having technical difficulties” Ears fuming and body temperature rising, you scream in anger as you bring your fists down on your keyboard in rage. BANG! You hurry up and call customer support, who assures you to try again. Finally, after a few minutes, numbers appear. “Your score is a 1490” Not bad, you actually have a shot at this whole college thing.