Carlmont continues to host mock exams despite digital versions


Wyatt Binnard

Students fill in their personal information before beginning the mock SAT in the Student Union on Feb. 1.

To better prepare students for their college applications, the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) holds practice entrance exams several times a year despite the increasing availability of online tests.

On Saturday morning, the most recent of these tests took place at Carlmont’s Student Union. According to Tiffany Sydlik, a general manager from The Princeton Review, around 100 students attended this mock exam to practice for the SAT and the American College Testing (ACT).

“The goal is so that the kids can find out about the tests without having to pay for a real test and without their results being an official score,” said Carol Tseng, chairwoman of the PTSA’s mock test committee.

The PTSA continues to hold mock tests in this digital age in order to give students experience in a realistic testing environment, which online tests fail to do, according to Tseng.

“It’s becoming more of a debate, but I think that until the College Board and ACT move completely online, some students will prefer how this is kind of simulating an actual test,” Tseng said.

Sydlik agrees that experiencing the same circumstances as the actual test is essential for some students, and The Princeton Review goes to great lengths to ensure that the students will be used to the testing procedures.

“Recreating that environment helps students with test anxiety since they know what it will be like,” Sydlik said. “We try to make it as close to the real experience as we can, such as the way the proctors read the script and time the sections of the test.”

Students taking the test also believe that there are benefits to real-life practice, such as sophomore Nick Hoffman.

“It’s more like actually sitting down and doing the physical thing,” Hoffman said. “It’s good for practice and for just getting used to the SAT.”

The PTSA plans to continue holding practice exams in the future since many students still try to take every practice opportunity availableAdditionally, the PTSA is still working on perfecting their mock exam system by trying out different prep organizations, such as The Princeton Review and Revolution Prep.

“We have two different test organizations that we’ve been trying out this year. The Princeton Review is giving this one, and the one in November and the one March are given by Revolution Prep,” Tseng said. 

The last mock test the PTSA will hold this year will be on March 21 and will also include the essay portion of the SAT.