The NOT-so-Non-Profit: The College Board and its Ingenious Scholastic Assessment Test


Brooke Leggat, Co-Editor-in-Chief

High school: said to be the best and worst years of your life. But hey, at least you’ve escaped the horrors of middle school acne and worries about who was wearing a skirt to school the next day so you “wouldn’t be alone”! Wrong.

Though free of correlating outfits or acne, who knew my Junior year would consist of reviewing seventh grade Pre-Algebra terms and arbitrary texts about how potato chips were first made (did you know it was an accident?) for a smooth ride into some of the top schools in the U.S. I mean, for goodness sake, can someone please remind me what a constant is, I still can’t figure it out! The SAT couldn’t be easier.

This past summer, I couldn’t help but spend ten weeks flipping through endless pages of SAT prep books at my definitely-affordable tutoring center. Week by week, the money my family spent resulted in a, wait for it… whopping 20 points added to my practice exam score, yippee! Ambitious and elated to take my four-hour exam the next week, a bolded notification from The College Board appeared on my phone screen “Your test date has been cancelled” it read. But hey, it’s ok! Who needs 200 hours of study time anyway?

Ask any student about their testing experience, and they’d be delighted to share. Just take a look at Jessica Orrell, prodigious AP scholar and conditioned SAT test-taker, who has glided through every practice problem in her economically-priced practice books.

Following the cancellation of her Bend test dates, Orrell opted to travel to Boise, Idaho for a convenient SAT fix.

“A little road trip never hurt anybody,” Orrell said. “The rolling mountains we crossed while driving amid my final study day made for a fantastic educational environment.”

Adding to the experience was a paid-out-of-pocket overnight hotel stay, because who wouldn’t want to sleep in some hopefully-clean, non Covid-19, gritty and foreign sheets before one of the biggest days in your highschool career– and spend more dough, of course?

“I got the best sleep ever the night before” Orrell said. “The artificial breakfast the next morning really added a special touch as well and fueled me up for the day.”

Leading up to this test experience, Orrell, like myself, poured a trifling five hundred plus dollars into The College Board’s oh-so-helpful studying methods and prep materials. How comforting to know that even though money can’t buy happiness, it can get you the best SAT score possible. A few drained bank accounts later and boom: a paved road to an Ivy League Education!

Sophie Delfonsi, seasoned standardized test-taker and golf extraordinaire, spends the majority of her senior-year days learning about her future career field: guessing on multiple choice SAT questions–a highly coveted skill since The College Board has made it clear that the SAT challenges not your intelligence, but rather your ability to speed read and employ the process of elimination.

Dalfonsi prioritizes the SAT above all else, as the path it has paved gives her a leg-up as she seeks to gain a foothold in the real world.

“I believe that judging students on their ability to guess correctly is something that can help create a generation of strong and smart individuals in the workforce,” Dalfonsi said.

In fact, Dalfonsi thinks so highly of the SAT, that wherever it goes, she follows! This past summer, she took not one, not two, but THREE (paid for out-of-pocket, might I add) road trips to Boise, chasing the sought-after college entrance exam amid a worldwide pandemic. If that’s not commitment, I don’t know what is!

Not only is the SAT aiding Dalfonsi’s preparation for the real-world out of high school, but in her future collegiate athletic career as well.

“I need to receive a certain score to commit to school for Division One golf” she said. “Good thing the test availability in a city five hours away, possibly exposing me to Covid-19, has opened up a door for my future golf career.” As you can imagine, golf and multiple choice reading comprehension really do go hand in hand..

All in all, three SAT tests, the 2,000 page practice booklet, and three road trips and hotel stays amounted to a total of $3,000. What a steal!

Since this whole process is so fair to students on all the rungs of the socioeconomic ladder, just throw in a plane ticket or two to your already affordable post-SAT credit card statement. In hopes of taking the crucially-helpful-to-the-real-world-test, students are now hopping on planes to chase down test locations across the nation. It’s like storm chasers, but instead of a tornado of dust and debris, it’s a storm of wealthy high school student’s throw-away cash! Could this be a new career?!

The reality of it all is: if you ever find yourself, holes burnt in your pockets, jumbling for change, welp, no college for you! Sorry!