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Why is the SAT so early in the morning?

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I guess I just feel like test centers should be allowed to have it at whatever time they want, whether than at an exact time.  With a 7:30 arrival time the students need to be up by 6:30 - even morning people find that hour early.

(Note : I am a morning person, raised by a Type A morning person married a morning person and also raised by German immigrants who pretty much drilled into me the fact that mornings are for work, work gets done first, evening is for a little relaxation after all the work is done, house is clean, dishes put away, etc so I am not saying that I don't understand that people have to and sometimes should pony up....but then I had a kid that needs 11 or even 12 hours of sleep every night, and literally has headaches and gets sick when too many of those are missed....some people just need more sleep and even if they goes to bed at 9:30, a good night's sleep is waking up at 8:30...)

I am not saying a person who needs more sleep or teens with different sleeping habits shouldn't be able to get up on time for things and pony up...but it does kind of stink that a test on which so much of their life depends, will find them groggy, and out of it and less than their best on test day.

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I am guessing so that by the time the PST students are let out, the students in Hawaii would be in the testing rooms already. Same for when the students in EST are let out, the students in CST, MT, PST are already in the testing rooms. Maybe EST students should start exams the same time as the CST students. 

While I have a night owl, we do prefer an early morning commute before the retail and medical staff commute to work.

The AP exams in the morning starts at 8am and students do need to report around 7:15am to 7:30am depending on the test site. Since AP exams are on weekdays, avoiding the morning commute jam is even more crucial.

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I am not a morning person at all.  In fact, it's part of the reason I homeschool.  I don't even like driving my kids to the testing facility at that hour, let alone taking a test that could impact college selection, etc.

I told dd16 that of course I'm not going to pay for accommodations (we were discussing the recent scandal), but if I could get an accommodation for her it would be to have the test later in the day.

I really wish that they would have more than one test time available.  

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I believe the majority of people are much more alert, early in the mornings, and that is one reason those examinations begin early.

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Probably because the great majority of test takers attend schools that start by that time. Nothing unusually early about it.

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6 minutes ago, gstharr said:

Probably because the great majority of test takers attend schools that start by that time. Nothing unusually early about it.

 This is what I think.  Most teens are starting school at around 8:00 anyway.  Most of them have been up by 6:30 all week.  If school started later, then the SAT would probably start later.

But yeah...as a homeschooler, I’m not even out of bed until 8:30, so having to get to the school by 7:30 wasn’t fun.

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Another reason could be that school admin staff and janitors want to be done as soon as possible. When I was working, Saturday after lunch overtime rate was higher than before lunch because many clients also worked on Saturday mornings. My kids German school is hosted in a public school and we have to vacate the premises by 12:15am or pay more in rental fees. The janitor does the locking up of all the classrooms, auditorium and cafeteria as well as all the school gates. 

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1 hour ago, gstharr said:

Probably because the great majority of test takers attend schools that start by that time. Nothing unusually early about it.

 

Yeah, but don't you remember in high school how many kids were miserable the first period?  How many still had their heads on their desks during homeroom?  It's not super ideal and since your  whole life depends on it, it seems like it would be nice to make it at 10 am 

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2 hours ago, Lanny said:

I believe the majority of people are much more alert, early in the mornings, and that is one reason those examinations begin early.

And I guess it's just one more area of life in which I am not in the majority. 😉  I tell people that I'm not even human before 8 am.

My kids certainly learned that lesson a long time ago.  Let Mom sleep.  :)

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21 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

  It's not super ideal and since your  whole life depends on it, it seems like it would be nice to make it at 10 am 

 

Then they might need a longer break (10mins break and 5mins break are too short) to cater to starving teens having enough time to gobble lunch.  My night owl (slow eater) would have to bring bottles of protein shakes if check in time is at 10am as that means exams start at 11am, and ends at 2:15pm earliest for SAT without essay.

My night owl actually wakes up around 6am because he gets so excited to get it over and done with that he can’t sleep. 

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My guess is also that it is what the majority of proctors and staff would prefer. While I don’t love getting up at 6:30 am I would absolutely prefer to be done by 1:00 and not give up my entire Saturday, if I was a school teacher. Also, my kids often were off to a sporting event or some other function the afternoon of the ACT. So it just doesn’t take up the whole day this way.

All that said, I was really happy my test taker could drive himself this year and I could stay in bed 🙂

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3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

 

Then they might need a longer break (10mins break and 5mins break are too short) to cater to starving teens having enough time to gobble lunch.  My night owl (slow eater) would have to bring bottles of protein shakes if check in time is at 10am as that means exams start at 11am, and ends at 2:15pm earliest for SAT without essay.

Yes I'm guessing that it has to do with getting the tests done before lunch!

My daughter had time and a half accommodations due to her epilepsy meds slowing her processing speed. When she did the ACT that meant that she was there until 2:30 or 3pm - she was utterly miserable by then!

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28 minutes ago, kirag714 said:

Yes I'm guessing that it has to do with getting the tests done before lunch!

My daughter had time and a half accommodations due to her epilepsy meds slowing her processing speed. When she did the ACT that meant that she was there until 2:30 or 3pm - she was utterly miserable by then!

Yeah, my son had time and a half accommodations, too.  It was a looong day.  We’re not usually out of bed until 8:30, but if he’d started the test at 10, he’d have been there until somewhere between 4 or 5.

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Because otherwise you would have to break for lunch. 

And most traditional schools start by 8, 8:30 at the latest? And many traditional jobs start early in the morning too - 6 or 8 or 9 am? 

I understand homeschoolers can set their own hours to work when they want to, but the world isn't going to change because some don't like it. 

And for those of us who have to drive 30-45 minutes to get to a good testing location, we have to get up much earlier. 

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Hmm...the lunch thing is a good point.

They do give kids a 15 minute break between sessions and kids could bring their own lunch, but maybe that would be a bit tough to have to figure out the lunch thing.

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Most conventional jobs start around 7:00-8:00 AM. So, the proctors would show up st those times anyway. So do the public schools locally - most kids taking electives go in at 6:45 am in our local high school.

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The test would not get done before lunch if it didn't start in the morning. And incorporating a lunch break is a logistic nightmare if test security is to be maintained.

It's normal school hours. The students who are not homeschooled are used to be at school at that time. 

Edited by regentrude
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36 minutes ago, regentrude said:

The test would not get done before lunch if it didn't start in the morning. And incorporating a lunch break is a logistic nightmare if test security is to be maintained.

It's normal school hours. The students who are not homeschooled are used to be at school at that time. 

I agree.  However, some schools do start later.  My son't high school, for example, starts at 8:45.  And since he has to drive 45 minutes to the SAT test site, it's definitely early.  On the other hand, part of the test is whether student can manage to deal with non-optimal situations.  Because life.

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So do all the AP exams scheduled for the morning sessions have to start at 8? Even though they are given during the week and some high schools have later start times?

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1 hour ago, Penelope said:

So do all the AP exams scheduled for the morning sessions have to start at 8? Even though they are given during the week and some high schools have later start times?

 

“Early testing or testing at times other than those published by the College Board is not permitted under any circumstances. Click here for the printable 2019 AP Exam schedule.” https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/courses/exam-dates-and-fees

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23 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

 

“Early testing or testing at times other than those published by the College Board is not permitted under any circumstances. Click here for the printable 2019 AP Exam schedule.” https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/courses/exam-dates-and-fees

Except probably for the people involved in the college admissions scam ... those guys could have a replacement take the tests in hotel rooms, apparently. sorry, I spent too much time today reading about the scam and just had to comment on how there is a strict rule for us and not so strict rules for the scammers.

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15 hours ago, Lanny said:

I believe the majority of people are much more alert, early in the mornings, and that is one reason those examinations begin early.

 

Probably true, but oh, but how those early hours suck for those of us who aren't sunny, morning people.

I'm barely coherent before 10 am. No matter how much sleep I've had, no matter how I go about the waking-up process.... mornings suck if I have to get out of bed before 9 am, and triply suck if I have to be presentable before 10.

An ideal day for me would be to sleep until 11:15 am and go to bed around 3 am. My "alert" hours are between 7 pm and 1 am. DH jokes about it because I am DRAGGING myself along around 2 pm, barely functioning & exhausted... then by 5 I'm starting to perk up, and by 7 pm I am ready to conquer the world! It takes me a LONG time to wake up! lol

He is a morning person. We're not sure how we're still happily married.

Luckily, our two oldest can function in mornings. I wouldn't call them morning people, but the early ACT/SAT starts haven't phased them (it phased ME moreso because I had to drive them to said stupid-early tests...). Last kid, unfortunately, takes after his mama. As long as he comes home and crashes afterwards for a couple hours, he's usually okay.

Edited by easypeasy
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19 hours ago, mathnerd said:

Except probably for the people involved in the college admissions scam ... those guys could have a replacement take the tests in hotel rooms, apparently. sorry, I spent too much time today reading about the scam and just had to comment on how there is a strict rule for us and not so strict rules for the scammers.

The rules applied to them to.  They broke test security rules, made false official statements, and will likely go to jail for their actions. 

It wasn't a matter of different rules for rich people.  It was people who thought they could get around the rules and not get caught.

Edited by Sebastian (a lady)
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On 4/20/2019 at 11:05 AM, Arcadia said:

Then they might need a longer break (10mins break and 5mins break are too short) to cater to starving teens having enough time to gobble lunch.   

Yes, they don't want to mess around with an actual lunch break. 

On 4/19/2019 at 8:36 PM, Calming Tea said:

I guess I just feel like test centers should be allowed to have it at whatever time they want, whether than at an exact time.  With a 7:30 arrival time the students need to be up by 6:30 - even morning people find that hour early.

 

I submit that people who think 6.30 is a very early hour to wake up aren't actually morning people, lol. I'm definitely not a morning person but whenever I've worked outside the house I've woken up around 6 to 6.30 and I don't think that's unusual. I found my husband's hours early - he woke up at 5 am for a very long time, that and even earlier are typical for several local industries. 

Security and protocol are easier if all testing centers are on a very similar schedule, I think that plays into it a great deal.  Even if they had permission to do it later, most tests would still be quite early because they are often held at schools and other locations that are more likely to be in use later in the day (outside more than classrooms, possibly, stuff like band practice, cheerleaders, softball games). Certain people from the school or whatever location have to be there and they want to get home. The tests have to be delivered and secured, and those people also want to be done, not waiting for tests to show up on Saturday evening.

Edited to add that our local high schools start at 7.15 in the morning. I know there's been a push to start later but I think anything much later than that is still rare. 

Edited by katilac
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10 minutes ago, katilac said:

 The tests have to be delivered and secured, and those people also want to be done, not waiting for tests to show up on Saturday evening.

 

The answer booklets have to be picked up by UPS courier on the same day ASAP as well.

“Returning Used Answer Sheets and Critical Materials for Scoring

It is critical that the answer sheets from your school arrive for scoring on time and that your testing materials are appropriately returned. You will be provided with a return label that has a tracking number. Be sure to retain a copy of that tracking number in case of issues with the delivery.


Shipment 1: Materials Sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Shipment 1 includes all used answer documents, various envelopes with materials described in this section, and the completed SRF. See the diagram in the Appendix, page 51, to help you place the correct materials in each envelope and pack them in the requested order in the shipping box.
Advanced arrangements may be made for you to have a custom courier pickup of the return packages before the end of the test day. Keep materials secure until pickup. If this service is not available in your area, follow the directions later in this section for returning testing materials.

...
Return all materials via UPS, or DHL for international centers, using the shipping envelope or box with the preapplied label that was included in your test materials shipment. (Discard any leftover shipping materials.) U.S. centers: If you did not receive an email confirmation with your pickup confirmation number or if you need to adjust your time, call UPS at 800-742-5877 (800-PICK-UPS) to arrange for pickup on test day.

For each package that you ship, note the tracking number and file this information in your records. On each label, print your center name and number, and mark the box number and total boxes you are shipping (e.g., “1 of 2,” “2 of 2”). Labels will be addressed to:
Pearson Processing Center

9200 Earhart Lane SW

Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 USA” https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/k12-educators/coordinating/testing-manuals

 

 

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On 4/21/2019 at 7:40 PM, katilac said:

Yes, they don't want to mess around with an actual lunch break. 

 

I submit that people who think 6.30 is a very early hour to wake up aren't actually morning people, lol. I'm definitely not a morning person but whenever I've worked outside the house I've woken up around 6 to 6.30 and I don't think that's unusual. I found my husband's hours early - he woke up at 5 am for a very long time, that and even earlier are typical for several local industries. 

Security and protocol are easier if all testing centers are on a very similar schedule, I think that plays into it a great deal.  Even if they had permission to do it later, most tests would still be quite early because they are often held at schools and other locations that are more likely to be in use later in the day (outside more than classrooms, possibly, stuff like band practice, cheerleaders, softball games). Certain people from the school or whatever location have to be there and they want to get home. The tests have to be delivered and secured, and those people also want to be done, not waiting for tests to show up on Saturday evening.

Edited to add that our local high schools start at 7.15 in the morning. I know there's been a push to start later but I think anything much later than that is still rare. 

 

Our high schools must be a rarity. They start at 9 am.  The district uses the same buses to pick up/drop off elementary, middle, and high school and so has start times staggered to allow that.

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7 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

 

Our high schools must be a rarity. They start at 9 am.  The district uses the same buses to pick up/drop off elementary, middle, and high school and so has start times staggered to allow that.

Yes, most places use the same buses and stagger the start times but it's more typical to have the elementary kids start later. There's been a push to reverse that but I don't know how successful it has been. I think one potential issue is that a later start time obviously means a later finish time, which sometimes interferes with part-time jobs.  

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On 4/20/2019 at 6:21 AM, Lanny said:

I believe the majority of people are much more alert, early in the mornings, and that is one reason those examinations begin early.

The majority of adults, possibly. Most definitely not the majority of teenagers, who happen to be the college entrance test takers.

Edited by Mabelen
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On 4/20/2019 at 7:00 AM, gstharr said:

Probably because the great majority of test takers attend schools that start by that time. Nothing unusually early about it.

Yes, even though this is very much against the American Pediatric Association recommendation that middle and high schools do not start before 8.30am due to the sleep shifts that happen during puberty that prevent teenagers from falling asleep earlier in the evening. 

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Well, my high school started at 0700, so I was up at 0530 every day. I walked to school and it was several miles. 

When we had to travel for the SAT (it used to only be offered in our small town twice a year) we had to LEAVE the ranch by 0600, after doing morning chores. So up at 0500. 

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