“We are pleased to offer you admission…”
Wahoo! Your mind rejoices at your academic achievement, the promise of soon-to-be independence, your ticket into adulthood.
Indeed, there are many things to celebrate as you prepare to become a college freshman. All the effort you have put into proving you belong in that freshman class was not for naught.
In all that celebration, the vast majority of students forget all about the abominable SAT.
And who can blame them? Taking the SAT is not exactly a fun-filled experience. It requires a strenuous exertion of one’s cerebral faculties, squared by the value of the area of a cube whose side, just for the heck of it, was increased by a third.
And yet, the SAT might not be completely useless as you make your way through the rigors of college courses. In fact, you can apply much of your grueling SAT prep in college.
Your expanded SAT vocabulary, coupled with the practicing of your reading comprehension skills, could help you become a better writer.
An important factor in being a good writer is your command of the language. If you slaved over memorizing hundreds of SAT words in preparation for the test, do your best to keep them fresh in your memory.
Periodic repetition and review of the words you’ve learned should help you contain them in your cranium, ensuring that you will never have to be miserly (SAT word!) with words again.
Recycle: Critical reading
In order to write well (future humanities and social science majors, listen up!), parsing the texts you read—just as you did when you grappled with SAT passages—should help you sharpen your proverbial pen.
And though not every good reader becomes a Hemingway or a Tolstoy, few can argue with the old adage that good readers make good writers.
The math portion of the SAT might also be useful in college. If you are determined never to take another math class in your life, summon your SAT-honed math moxie to reel in a grade on the college placement test worthy of a credit waiver.
Even if you don’t go into journalism and can generally get by in life with the semi-literate communication of e-mails and text messaging, remembering the proper rules of grammar will help you through the next four years of academic writing.
The SAT does not measure how well you do either in college or later in life. Rather, the SAT measures only one thing—how well you do on the SAT.
But instead of treating the test you have studied so hard for as a waste of time, make the best of it and keep the skills you have acquired. You never know when you might need them.
Shawn Alexander works for PrepSage.com, a site that operates a database of hundreds of SAT questions.