The Urban Legend

The School Newspaper of Urban School of San Francisco

The Urban Legend

The School Newspaper of Urban School of San Francisco

The Urban Legend

More students at The Urban School begin early SAT and ACT prep, but how early is too early?

A couple of weeks ago, my parents arrived home from a junior parent college meeting bearing a thick folder stuffed with information about the ACT and SAT.

A few days ago, I placed an order for three practice booklets to prep for a test I’ll take next spring and then again in the fall next year.

Sometime in December, I will receive my PSAT results, and I’ll get a Naviance account to help me research, organize, and apply to college.

Looking forward towards the college application process, specifically the SAT and ACT, it’s hard not to feel like you should start as early as possible. But how early is too early to prep for the SAT or ACT?

Lena Galinson (’16) has been prepping since freshman year.

“I do the question of the day…online,” she said. Galinson added that she is prepping early because “standardized tests are not my strong suit, and also my mom really wants me to do well.”

Natalie Sears (’15) says that she’s been studying “since midsummer” and has had “12 two-hour tutoring sessions” so far.

“With my schedule and playing sports it’s better for me…to get a head start so that I don’t have to prioritize other things over it,” said Sears. She is a three-season varsity athlete, playing varsity volleyball, basketball, and soccer. Beginning her test prep early in the game can be difficult. “Sometimes I don’t wish I did (it) but my parents are looking out for me,” she said.

Others are starting more slowly. “I’m not prepping early because I don’t have time,” said Nikki Kimzey (’15). “I’ll probably start during break since that’s when I’ll have time.” She says her plan is to take a prep course and study on her own.

No matter what, when prepping for the SAT or ACT, it’s important to make sure that you set an individualized plan for studying and stick to it. Prepare in the best way for yourself, not just based on what your classmates are doing.

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About the Contributor
Olive Lopez, Editor-in-Chief: Visuals
Even though she goes to high school, she is not just another high school student. Not only does she walk, she runs, leaps, summersaults, and pirouettes. Her home is not only the house she lives in, but the city itself. Olivia (Olive) Francesca Sharpe Lopez, 16, is a junior at The Urban School of San Francisco, the photo editor for The Urban Legend, and a layout editor for the Urban Journal. She participates in both ballet and contemporary for the ODC Dance Commons of San Francisco with current Urban School attendees and alumni. “My mom made me take (dance) classes when I was younger,” said Lopez. “I didn’t like it at first, but then it grew on me.” Personal relationships were key: “I really liked the girls in my class and the teachers.” A lifelong San Francisco resident, Lopez gets energy from her surroundings. “I like the city because it's really bustling with life and energy and I love being completely immersed in it,” Lopez said. “Even being on MUNI can be fun just because of the fantastic views you have through the bus window.” She also likes the Bernal Hill neighborhood. “A lot of people think that it's windy and cold and boring but I love the view,” Lopez said. “I like bringing my sketchbook up there for art classes and getting inspiration because it gives you a 360-degree view of the city.” Lopez, who serves as a class representative for the junior class at Urban, is both a peer tutor and a tutor for Aim High, a nonprofit organization that provides academic help to disadvantaged San Francisco public school students. As a child, Lopez wanted to work in either an Apple store or a bookstore, and she still wants to work in an Apple store because she is very interested in both Apple’s technology and aesthetic. In her spare time, Lopez likes to travel, spend time with her friends, and enjoy some of Urban’s festivities, such as the One Acts or the Winter Festival.

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More students at The Urban School begin early SAT and ACT prep, but how early is too early?