About 60 Cohoes High School seniors sat down Wednesday morning to take the SAT, almost doubling the number who took the exam last year.
For the first time, the district is partnering with College Board to offer the SAT and PSAT at no cost to all high school students.
“The key benefit to this program is that it removes barriers for our students,” Principal Bryan Wood said. “It opens the door to college. It’s something we think is really important.”
To help prepare students, the district also offers an SAT prep course to all interested seniors.
In addition to being free of charge for our families, the tests are administered at school during regular school hours, rather than in a neighboring district on a Saturday, when they are typically held.
“This allowed my daughter to take the test when she is mentally strongest,” parent Vanessa Shanahan said. “It’s beneficial because she was allowed to take an important test in a location she’s familiar with. The confidence was there because of the (prep) course and the convenience of testing at her ‘home away from home.'”
Colleges and universities continue to use the SAT as a key benchmark for admission, but, according to district leaders, test-taking is an important skill no matter what path students take after high school.
“Aptitude tests are something students will need in most anything they decide to do, whether it’s college, the military, or a trade,” Superintendent Jennifer Spring said. “It’s a critical skill to have and it takes practice.”
The entire ninth grade class is set to take the PSAT on October 17, followed by all tenth and eleventh graders on October 24.