Michael Ahn ’22 / Theo Tcharos ’23
This month, hundreds of students at Bellarmine and thousands of students in the U.S. will be taking their SAT’s and SAT Subject Tests. These exams may seem insignificant, but be careful not to overlook them. After all, they play a massive role in a student’s future college prospects. Here at Bellarmine, Mr. Atkins, the Bell SAT coordinator, manages and organizes the test-taking process from start to finish.
Mr. Atkins oversees a wide spectrum of tasks involving the SAT process. For example, he keeps track of not only the test-takers, but also the proctors. According to him, “We have about 850 students registered for every SAT administration we hold here on Bellarmine’s campus, which means I need about 33 proctors and about 7 people to support with collecting materials and giving breaks to the proctors. So, you’re looking at about 40 to 42 staff members on an SAT administration day.”
Mr. Atkins also oversees the distribution and collection of the tests. Once an administration session ends, Mr. Atkins collects the tests from the proctors and sends them back to College Board to ensure that every test is safely stored and recorded.
Although this year’s SAT process is mostly similar to years prior, there are still some differences between them. For example, unlike in prior years, students opting out of the essay portion of the exam are now allowed to take the exam in the same room with students who opt in. As Mr. Atkins elaborates, “In the previous years, if you wanted to either opt-in or opt-out the Essay, I would have had to been notified at the beginning of the testing and I would have had that student go to a different room based on whether they wanted to opt-in or opt-out of the Essay. But now, proctors can tell the students to stay in the same room, whether they want to take the Essay portion or not.”
The SAT is no doubt a big hurdle in the college admissions process, however, Mr. Atkins has a small bit of advice:
“Have a good night’s rest, and before you get here, make sure to have a hearty breakfast, and have fun the night before.”