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The Student News Site of Cape Coral High School

The Seahawk's Eye

The Student News Site of Cape Coral High School

The Seahawk's Eye

Cape High hosts first digital SAT; how did it Go, what do you need to know?

Courtesy+of+Adrian+Ruiz
Courtesy of Adrian Ruiz

I took one of the first sessions of the digital SAT on March 9th at Cape Coral High School. After preparing for nearly two weeks straight, I walked into the test, Chromebook in hand, and braced myself for the next three hours of pure exam.

The test went smoothly, I was able to speed through the english section. This was mainly due to the fact that the questions are much shorter and there aren’t any large readings to waste your time.

The math section was also simplified. The Bluebook application, the program the test runs on, supplied the user with a built-in calculator just in case they did not bring one on exam day.

Junior Gavin Smith described the exam as “less intimidating than usual,” stating, “instead of being faced with over 100 questions that you know you have to bubble in, it instead limits it to where you can only see, for example, 31 questions.”

Another thing that Smith enjoyed about the exam was the freedom that was given to him during his breaks. “There’s not a global break for the entire room,” Smith explained.

“However, each individual person has an individualized timer, and they can also log that they’re taking a break. This way the examiner can look at their computer and see that they’re on a break.”

With this being one of the first sessions of this exam, Smith stated that there are some things that could have been done differently to make the exam more “user-friendly.”

“The fact you could not change the lighting mode it was; you couldn’t do dark mode to let it be easier on your eyes,” Smith said. 

“At the same time, they [Collegeboard] did not fully utilize the fact that every person has an individual timer. If you have your own timer, you think you would be able to end the timer early so you can go back to working on the exam. Instead, you have to still sit there and wait for the timer to end before you could work again.”

Minus these small notes, Smith said his experience was great and he felt comfortable taking the exam. While most had an enjoyable experience, there were some which could not experience the same satisfaction.

According to Cape High SAT coordinator Aaron Smoly, multiple students had issues when it came time to take the exam. “Some other students had some issues, but they were able to be resolved,” Smoly stated. 

“Some had the issue where their Chromebooks had not been updated to the school’s wifi prior to the test, so they were unable to access Bluebook. Most of these students were students who were dual enrolled and who didn’t spend very much time at Cape High.”

While Smoly did come across a handful of easy-fixes, he also saw one major problem which led to the dismissal of multiple students from their exams. “There were a portion of students who went to private schools, such as Bishop Verot and Oasis who were unable to take the test that day,” Smoly explained.

“The main problem was students from Oasis and Bishop Verot, their school-issued devices were unable to connect to outside WiFi services. Their protocols were too stringent and they were not able to access our guest WiFi. It was approximately 20 students that had to be dismissed.”

To prevent this problem from occurring in future exams, Smoly came up with two possible solutions. “We’re contemplating setting up a testing lab where we can send all students who have issues like that so they can take it on one of our computers in the school,” said Smoly.

“The second possible solution is to give them a loaner Chromebook when they arrive. However, that sets a bad precedent because then other students who don’t have one might need one and what happens when we run out?”

Smoly and Cape High have also contacted any schools that had the most issues with their students getting into the exams. “We’ve been on the phone with Oasis to try to get them to work on their WiFi protocols to make it so that their school-issued devices will work with our WiFi,” stated Smoly.

Cape High will be having an in-school SAT on April 9th for all juniors. Before entering the exam, make sure you have the bluebook program downloaded on your devices. You can do this by logging out of your chromebook, going to the apps icon, and confirming that bluebook is installed (if not, restart and update your chromebook).

 

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Jordan Manning, Sports Editor
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