Limited seats prevent juniors from taking the SAT

Liam de Luce and Riley Hawkinson

The majority of the junior class sat in the gym, patiently awaiting to take the SAT. Just outside the doors behind them, an overwhelmed staff was tasked with relaying bad news to 35 students: they would not be able to take the test.

On March 2, Jackson Reed High School hosted an SAT test for the class of 2023. However, over 35 juniors were turned away for the in-school SAT due to insufficient space.

Students were told to arrive at school by 8:00 a.m. However, most of the students who ultimately could not take the test arrived before the established time.

“I got there at 7:45, 15 minutes early, and the line was already stretched out from the pool entrance to the sidewalk,” junior Matthew Healy said. 

After all students had entered through the pool entrance, administrators were in the process of seating participants in the auxiliary and standard gym. Students were waiting for 20 minutes before they were informed that seats had been filled, and they would be unable to sit for the exam that day. 

“I learned I [couldn’t take the test while] waiting right outside of the gym. I got through security and I sat there for 20 minutes, waiting to go in. Then out of nowhere, [an administrator said], ‘you can’t take the test. There’s not enough space,” Healy said. 

In part, the lack-of space was because the administration did not know the total number of students taking the test before testing day. SAT days that are hosted by the school are free and participants are not required to sign up, leaving the administration without a set list of how many students planned to take the SAT on that day. Assistant Principal Camille Robinson believes that having an exact number of students that want to take the SAT will help the school be more prepared

“In terms of how many kids we knew were going to definitely show up, we just went by enrollment. I think getting a list of those students [who want to take the SAT] would be helpful,” Robinson said. 

Students were told to go home after being informed by administrators there would be an opportunity to take the exam within the next couple days. However, all SAT dates are set by the College Board and the next exam Jackson Reed-would be able to host was Tuesday, April 26.  

Although an email was sent out by the administration to parents of students who were unable to take the test, explaining the next available day to sit the exam would be April 26, students were left wondering how this happened in the first place. 

 “I was just annoyed that administration is so incompetent that it was not prepared for how many juniors [Jackson-Reed] had. I guess it’s just poor planning, or maybe they underestimated the amount of people that were going to take it,” junior Rebecca Khoury said.

But as class sizes only grow, the Jackson-Reed administration will have to find solutions to overcrowding and insufficient space for future events.•