Stories from The Trail

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Stories from The Trail

CT Today

Stories from The Trail

CT Today

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Ditching the pencils – How students adapt to digital SAT

Ditching the pencils - How students adapt to digital SAT

  As we continue to submerge into the digital age, some things have undergone significant changes. This year, for example, the SAT has gone digital instead of the traditional pencil-and-paper format. For many nervous test takers and students with short attention spans, the new changes alleviate some burdens. 

  The exam will be shorter, being two hours and 14 minutes instead of the typical 3 hours. Senior, Megan Guttenberg, commented on the traditional SAT “I think the hardest part was reading through all the things further writing in the reading section, just because it gets really repetitive and then having to remember that for all the questions there,” said Guttenberg. The reading and writing sections have been combined into one, with a format change regarding the length of the passages. English language arts teacher, Aaron Pennington, is one of the teachers for the SAT prep class this year. “Under the old exam, you had a long passage, and then the question sort of reference a part of the passage and you had to kind of scroll through it and try to find the section that the question was referring to, you don’t have to anymore it’s going to be right there in front of you, I think that’s going to be really helpful for students as well,” said Pennington. 

  Even though the exam has many advantages students are looking forward to, including calculators for the entire math section, many still have concerns. Junior Josephine Mahonda expressed one of her worries, “Whenever we did the PSAT on computer for the first time, a whole bunch of people couldn’t get into the test and I was one of them, so I’m kind of scared about that,” said Mahonda. Some students still would prefer the SAT on paper, “I actually don’t like the fact that it’s on computer because I’m like more of a handwriting write it out type of person.” said Mahonda. Gutenberg also agreed, “I think I prefer the one on paper just because it’s easier for your eyes to focus and I feel like it’s more authentic kind of just to like read and have that in front of you,” said Guttenberg. 

  Despite this, teachers are hoping that this digital SAT will have a positive impact on students’ performance. “During COVID in the pandemic and everything, students scores really took a nosedive, understandably, and there’s been a lot of concern in the media and among our political leaders, ‘oh, kids can’t read blah, blah, blah’” said Pennington. “I’m hoping that the digital SAT is going to put some of that hysteria to rest and kids will show that they can do this and they’re going to perform better,” Pennington continued. As Pennington hopes for a rise in performance, he gives advice on what students can do, “I’m a big believer in practice and data shows that the more you practice, the better your score is.” Pennington also mentioned that he is using Khan Academy for the first time, a resource that many students have explored in hopes of improving their SAT score. 

  As many prepare for the exam, many wonder how the SAT going digital is going to change standardized testing and education overall. As an AP language and composition teacher, Pennington is fond of the idea of going digital. “AP Lang this year had the option of going digital and Cherokee Trail chose to do that […] I really think it’s the wave of the future, so I think it’s a good thing that we’re kind of out there on the edge and helping students adapt to this new testing environment,” said Pennington. The digital SAT at Cherokee Trail will be held on April 17, 2024.


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About the Contributors
Edward Tay
Edward Tay, Staff Reporter
Edward Tay (pictured on the right) is a junior at Cherokee Trail High School and a staff member at CT Trail Media. He joined CT Trail Media to gain experience and elevate his knowledge of creating videos, creating exciting stories, and how to be more entertaining.   Edward has a YouTube channel and created videos since he was 10. His knowledge of video editing and understanding of social media led him to have over 6.8 thousand subscribers and gain over 1.5 million views in all of his YouTube videos combined.   As a freshman, one video he created from Video Production class was one of two videos selected to be broadcasted on CTTV. In FBLA, he qualified for state in the Digital Video Production category.   Besides video editing, he also enjoys chess and tennis. He is the current President of Chess Club at CT. He also likes to compete in chess tournaments. Notable achievements include getting 7th at the 2023 Scholastic State Championships, K-12 division, 4th at the Summit School of Chess #5, Open division, and participated in the Denver Open, U1800 division. He also volunteers at the Chess Club at Tallyn's Reach Library. This year is his 3rd year of tennis and his 1st year of Varsity tennis.    He also focuses a lot on his academics. This year, he has 5 AP courses. His hard work in school led to him receiving the AP Scholar Award once he finished his sophomore year.
Anayla Apolinar
Anayla Apolinar, Staff Reporter
This is Anayla’s first year in digital media. She is in her junior year and was born in Miami, Florida. With her experience from intro to journalism, Anayla hopes to capture many stories and share them with Cherokee Trail. One of her favorite things about being a part of the digital media team is interviewing people. She loves to touch base on different topics and gather different perspectives and opinions.

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