Lately, four students in PUSD did something that many consider impossible. Juniors Henry Xu (WV), Jane Huang (DN), and Rancho Bernardo High School Broncos Isabella Ortiz and Callum Syderff all scored a perfect 2400 on the SAT.
“I never worked towards scoring in that range, really,” Syderff said. “I just sat down with my study material toward the end of summer break with the goal of doing as well as I could and the expectation of either getting a score I could be happy with straight off, or challenging myself to work harder to do better the next time around.”
Others spent more time studying for this well known test than Syderff did, developing study habits integral to earning a perfect score.
“I started studying at the beginning of summer,” Ortiz said.“I took Summa’s classes for eight weeks during vacation and for another eight weeks during the school year,” Ortiz said.
With all of the preparation she did in and out of Summa, she positioned herself to do exemplary on the test.
“I completed the mandatory practice tests at Summa each week and always did my homework, which included studying 2000 vocabulary words over the duration of the course,” Ortiz said. “I always made sure to review my practice tests to discern any patterns in my mistakes as well as to become more familiar with the types of questions College Board writes.”
Xu had a different method of getting ready for the test. He had much less conventional cramming techniques
“To be honest, I tried to make sure I wasn’t overly stressed about getting a high score,” Xu said. “I looked forward to ‘Agents of Shield’ every Tuesday, and just did school homework. I guess taking the day off before the test was helpful, and the day really helped me settle my nerves.”
Out of the entire experience of the test, Xu’s most challenging moment was towards the end.
“The hardest part was the waiting after the test. The test is only four hours long, but the three week wait is literally an eternity.” Xu said. “Doing your best on the test is in your control. Waiting for three numbers to show up on a website, not so much.”
On the other hand, Ortiz found the time prior to the test the most difficult aspect of the SAT.
“The hardest part of getting my score was building test-taking endurance since most testing sessions take more than four hours,” Ortiz said. “After 16 weeks of weekly practice exams, however, I grew accustomed to sitting for long periods of time and being diligent enough to read carefully and recheck answers instead of giving in to exhaustion or getting distracted.”
These scores will help each of these students as they move forward in life.
“While I know that colleges do not solely consider academic achievement, I hope that my score will make colleges more likely to accept me,” Syderff said. “With the SAT under my belt, I have more confidence in my academic abilities, so I’m going to look at some schools that I previously thought I wouldn’t have been accepted into.”
Overall, it is a huge achievement for these students to score so well, and as a district we should recognize their accomplishment together.