SAT Horror Stories

Anjali Sinha, Reporter

SAT testing can be very stressful. From preparing for the exam, to finding the venue, to dealing with the people in the room, things can definitely go wrong. We’ve collected some of Pres students’ SAT horror stories below:


Taylor Togami (12)

I took my SAT Math II Subject Test at Bellarmine, and I asked a Bell student where my room was. I followed his instructions to the room and waited. When the teacher was calling out names of the students in her room, I noticed that everyone had last names starting with “P” and not “T”. I asked people around me if this was a mistake, and turns out there was a different building with the SAME room number. I ran so fast over to the other building and walked into the classroom where everyone stared at me as I came in late.


Madeline Whitney (12)

In the middle of the SAT, a girl decided to spray herself with perfume, and long story short, I sneezed my way through the math section and got more glares than I have ever had in my life.


Giulia Mantovani (11)

When we were about to start the math section, the proctor was reading off the list of allowed graphing calculators. Then she started to check for the scientific calculators while still looking at the graphing calculator list. She started telling kids that their calculators were not allowed when they clearly were. We spent about 15 minutes arguing with the proctor that the scientific calculators were even simpler than the graphing calculators and that they were allowed. After that, she called in another woman who instantly confirmed all the calculators were acceptable to use. We spent extra time in the dreaded SAT classroom than we needed.


Peyton O’Hara (12)

I had a volleyball tournament the weekend of my SAT so I took my test in Colorado at a high school nearby. In the beginning section when you fill out all the information, it asked questions about the zip code and state of the location you’re taking it at. I didn’t want to write the wrong abbreviation for Colorado so I raised my hand and asked what it was. Everyone around me just looked at me in shock, and I had to explain how I was from California and wasn’t sure. I’m pretty sure nobody believed me and just thought I was stupid.


Abby McCarthy (12)

It was the night before the SAT. We had just gotten out of school, and I was very ill prepared because I had just finished finals and was ready for summer. Well, it was around 10 pm, and I was gathering all of the materials I would need in the morning. Keep in mind, I was already stressed and on the verge of a mental breakdown. What I needed, that I did not have, were two (non-mechanical) #2 pencils. So, there I was, in my living room, in full mental breakdown mode: crying, panicking, and texting my boyfriend about how bad at life I am. I DID NOT MAKE HIM DO THIS, but he drove 15 minutes to my house at 10:30 at night, just to give me a box of pencils and an eraser. Come to find out the next morning, that the school was providing pencils for those who didn’t have them or had forgotten them. I am now forever indebted to him…


Maria Fuqua (11)

The guy sitting behind me had a grand mal seizure during the exam. The ambulance came, took the student away, and then we had to continue on with the test like nothing happened.


Laura Powers (11)

My brother arrived at his testing site (about 1.5 miles away from our house) at 7:50 and realized he had forgotten his ticket at home. He sprinted back home because our dad had left for work, grabbed his ticket, rode his bike back to the testing sight, and arrived at 8:05, just before the proctor was closing to door!


Amanda Tran (12)

First, I signed up for my SAT subject tests really late so I ended up having to take it in Monterey. I woke up at 5 to drive all the way there. When the testing started, my proctor didn’t give us any time to fill out the information on the answer sheet, like your name, address, and everything else. So as I was filling it out on my own, she told us to begin the first test. I told her that we needed to fill out all of our information, but she just looked at me and told me the testing had begun. So I just listened to her and began taking my first subject test. She thought we were taking the regular SAT, and accidentally gave us extra time to because the first section of the regular SAT is 65 minutes. After we finished the first test, she told us we had 35 minutes for the next test. I had to go up to her and tell her that we were in fact taking subject tests, and not the regular SAT test. Her directions book was opened to the SAT 1 section, and I had to show her where the SAT 2 section was. After realizing her mistake, she told us we had the full hour to take the second test. So I finished up my second subject test, then went back to the front page and filled out all my information.


Kristin Greenfield (12)

I took the SAT in January, and I had to get there really early, so it was freezing outside. I woke up a little late (because who wants to wake up at 7:00 on a Saturday?) and when I went to go start my car there was a very thick layer of ice across the windshield. I didn’t have an ice scraper, so I spent 10 minutes futilely attempting to scrape it off with a Starbucks gift card. When it had finally thawed enough for me to see through the windshield, I ended up having to sprint to make it to the classroom on time.


Pooja Lalwani (11)

My calculator died when I had a few questions left on the calculator math portion, and I had to do all the math by hand.


Faith Springborn (11)

To start, I specifically chose a seat in the back far away from people so I wouldn’t look like I was cheating when checking the clock. (I’m superstitious about this) During the first section, the proctor yelled “Eyes on your own paper” while I was looking at the clock, so I thought she was yelling at me. Then during the break, she made me move seats to the front of the classroom where I was surrounded by a bunch of people, and I was sure she thought I was cheating. However, she moved a kid to the seat I had just left, so I think he was the one who may have been cheating, but I still live in fear that my scores are going to get cancelled.


Roma Kidambi (11)

I had a minute left for the math section and 10 problems to go so I went down the row with answer choice ‘C’. It was a traumatizing time.


Siena Turner (9)

This was during an SAT testing week in middle school, and most people were done with their test. All of a sudden I hear a crash, and the guy behind had me fallen on the ground with his chair and his desk. It was honestly so hilarious, but very disruptive.


Mizuki Kadowaki (12)

On the back of the book, there’s a number that we have to copy down onto the Scantron that indicates where we took the test, but for some reason, there was  a typo. We’re supposed to copy exactly the numbers that were there but but on the back of the book it said 11 in the box but had 10 bubbled so none of us knew how to copy it to our Scantron. Everyone else who took it at Bellarmine had the same problem, but the proctor in our room didn’t understand the issue no matter how many times we explained to her and wouldn’t ask the authority figure for us. We had to guess and hope for the best.