Letters in bubbles stacked in perfect rows… sound familiar? If it does, then you’ve probably taken a standardized test at some point in your life. For some people, standardized tests are a breeze. For others, tests like the SAT are a huge challenge and a barrier to college. Taking the SAT can be terrifying. You’re sitting in a room, racing against the clock, knowing that after four hours your predicted college readiness will be reduced to a single number. Taking the exam is stressful enough, but challenges often arise for students before they fill in the first bubble.
Completing the SAT or ACT is often the first barrier students face when transitioning to college. Most schools require students to submit standardized test scores with their applications. Before students even know where they want to apply, they have to take the test. This can be a huge deterrent, especially when students see the SAT’s price tag – the test costs $75. For low-income students, this can be the difference between going to college and not.
Texting students helps knock down these barriers. The fee is expensive for many students, but low-income students often qualify for fee waivers. Students need accurate information about how to get fee waivers, and they need reminders to register and prepare for the test. Standardized tests can also just be intimidating! Sometimes students need a little bit of encouragement for stressful tasks. Sending silly GIFs or emojis creates a more casual environment where students feel comfortable asking for the help they need.