St. Mary’s offers SAT course to all high school students

St. Mary’s High School sophomores Allie Goodreau and Ben Howes look over an SAT prep book after learning an SAT class will be hosted at St. Mary’s starting on Jan. 29. (Photo submitted)

WESTFIELD – Students planning to attend a higher education institute after high school should still take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Testing (ACT).

To help prepare for this important test, St. Mary’s High School (STM) is offering an SAT preparation course starting Jan. 29.

The SAT class will take place every Wednesday through April 29. The hours are 6-9 p.m., split evenly between English and Math.

“It is the first time that we will be offering the class to students outside of STM,” said Director of Guidance Jen Gomes.

The cost of the class for outside students is $250, and STM students are free. 

Gomes said these tests still play a significant role in college admission decisions.

“All students planning to attend college should take the SAT, ACT, or both. Many colleges and universities are now test optional, however, there are many schools that still place a large emphasis on SAT scores,” she said. “Colleges use SAT scores to compare you to other students around the country, and because colleges are ranked and judged by their SAT score ranges. SAT scores are used to narrow down the playing field when making acceptance decisions.”

SATs should be taken during a student’s junior year.

“Students should take their first SAT in May of their junior year and should start applying to colleges in the fall of their senior year,” Gomes said. “Getting into the top colleges is extremely competitive and requires a very large resume: grades, level of courses taken, SAT scores, AP scores, clubs, sports, leadership positions, community service, work experience/internship.”

Gomes said she tells students that it is “better to be actively involved in a club or two, than to dabble in many and not really accomplish anything.”

Many students taking SATs and ACTs can feel the pressure of the situation, but a prep class can help.

“The thought of taking the SAT is often very stressful for students,” said Gomes. “Taking an SAT prep class can help to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety by providing students with confidence. Most importantly, prep classes provide you with test taking strategies and not just content.” 

According to Gomes, approximately 98 percent of STM students go on to attend either a two-year or four-year college, while the remainder goes in to the military or trade school.


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