Lamar High School’s Viking University hosts SAT prep after school every Tuesday and Thursday, from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m., in the library conference rooms.
The SAT prep will take place during the typical time and location of Viking University. However, for the upcoming two weeks, or until the testing date of March 2, Drake and Victoria Post, who is Lamar High School’s College and Career adviser, will provide the necessary materials to aid students on their test.
“We are really talking about the value of the SAT, what it can do for them, and why it is so important for them to do well,” AVID teacher Melanie Drake said. “A lot of kids don’t do the practice questions that we provide for them, and those booklets are so true to what those test questions are gonna look like. So we are just trying to get those who are taking the test to see the material, practice it, and know the expectation.”
Drake and Post hope the SAT prep will help raise Lamar’s SAT score from the current median of 900, and to help understand how questions on the test will be phrased. Post hopes said she hopes introducing students to the types of questions will overall lower the shock factor many students experience in the testing room on the day of the actual exam.
“We really focus on math, because that is what students usually struggle the most with. And we are also trying to get our kids to increase our Lamar average SAT scores. They are about in the 900’s right now, and we would like to raise them to the national average which is around 1150 to 1200,” Drake said.
While the school does provide the junior class with SAT preparation booklets, which are used within the Viking University SAT prep, the afterschool aid is primarily centered around Khan Academy.
“At Viking University, I’m going to be teaching students how to set up a Khan Academy account, which is a free test prep website that partners with College Board,” Post said. “It will basically give you 20 questions a day, 20 for math and 20 for English and reading. Studies have actually shown that, in the past, if a student spends at least two hours a week on Khan Academy, it can increase their score by at least 100 points. It really does make a huge difference.”
Drake said if students begin the test preparation at an earlier time in the year, the outcome of test scores would be more positive. She said she does believe if students successfully complete their 20 hours on Khan Academy, it will help. Drake said this is especially true if they focus on points within the test they know are more challenging for students.
“A lot of students weren’t even aware that the SAT test was coming up, but for those who do know and go to Viking University, they will have the peace of mind of ‘hey, I’m prepared and I know what to expect,’” Post said. “Hopefully, those students will take the time to spread the word around the school.”
The regular after school aid in which Viking University usually consists (collaborative student groups and leadership) will still be open for anyone to join.