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‘My teachers at Hayden & Reynott guided me very well and helped me secure a good SAT score’

Simar Raj Singh, who is planning to pursue higher education in the United States, says practice and consistency are key to acing the crucial SAT exam

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A student of Apeejay School Faridabad, Simar Raj Singh recently cleared SAT with a score of 1340. About a year ago, the class 12 student enrolled in Hayden and Reynott (H&R), which helped him with the exam preparation as well as college applications. Simar, who is eyeing some of the top US colleges to pursue higher studies, shares some interesting tips to secure a good SAT score. Edited excerpts:

How did your association with Hayden & Reynott begin?

I decided to appear for the SAT in 11th grade. It was my mother who talked to many Apeejay alumni. They told her about a few institutions and one of them was Hayden & Reynott.

You recently cleared the SAT. Tell us how the faculty at H&R guided you.

It has been almost a year now. Since I joined in the middle of the pandemic, the coaching would initially be conducted virtually. We had weekly sessions for Maths and English, and had tests scheduled at intervals, which helped us prepare well. I started my college applications around August-September last year. I had one call almost every week from the faculty to discuss my progress. Now that the journey is nearing its end, I feel I have had a great experience where the faculty took the pain to clear all my doubts. Overall, I had a good experience.

What is their teaching approach like?

SAT includes Maths and English. Of these, Maths is relatively easy, especially for Indian students. So, it is not difficult to crack—all you need is regular practice. The section that tests your abilities in English, however, is of an advanced level and requires a lot of studying. My teachers at Hayden & Reynott guided me very well and helped me secure a good score. I practiced for three-four hours a week. I did around 30-40 mock tests.

How did the faculty help you with college applications?

With no prior experience, college applications were the toughest challenge. But the teachers guided us for the initial one or two applications after which I could easily do them on my own.

Which colleges are you applying to and for what subject?

I want to pursue Computer Science. I am aiming for Washington College and Georgia Tech which are part of Ivy League institutions. I have also applied to four other colleges to be on the safe side.

For students preparing for the SAT, can you share some tips to achieve a high score?

*It does not matter if you have done three days or three months of practice. You have to be in the moment when you appear for the actual test.

*Do not take mock tests lightly. Sit in a quiet room, time yourself, and try to complete the papers. From personal experience, I can tell you that time management is key.

*You do not have to spend long hours preparing for the exam. Even if you devote two hours on Saturday and Sunday each, you will be able to manage. I think you will easily crack the test if you are consistent.

You are in your final year of school. Tell us about your experience at Apeejay School, Faridabad.

Currently, the school is concentrating on the board exams. I have been in Apeejay since nursery and have spent a large amount of time at school. Apeejay has been an integral part of my life; it has been my home. Being the school’s Vice Head Boy in both the primary and secondary sections, among several other such experiences, is what I will remember fondly.

Did you also participate in extra-curricular activities?

I was on the school football team in classes 6 and 7. I was also part of the basketball team from classes 8-11. Besides, I was part of the student council in class 11, the robotics club for two years, and the astronomy club for one year.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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