Peanut and the SAT

Peanut is in 7th grade now. (Time flies when you’re having fun!) Not too many months ago, we received notice that he’d been invited to take the SAT via the Duke University TIP Program. They take 7th graders who show advanced skills and invite them to test. If they scored over certain percentage, they are invited to Duke’s summer programs for educational advancement.

We let him be the decision maker and when he chose to test, being the nerdy parents we are, promptly went to our local bookstore and bought everything possible to allow him to prepare for testing. I was more keyed up than my husband and would get frustrated as I watched him NOT prepare for the test. It really tested my Type-A tendencies to the breaking point and I had to keep reminding myself that he is only 12 and this isn’t a make or break test for college…yet.

Testing day came and so did the snow. Since I’m pretty sure North Carolina only has one snow plow, the test was cancelled. Six weeks later, he was preparing to test as they were calling for more snow. Luckily he was able to test and we had six inches of snow later that evening. A win for pretty scenery and Peanut relaxing post-SAT.

He came out after that day of testing and said it was funny to see all of the high school students wigging out and he was like “well, it’s just a test. This isn’t going to make or break me.” Have I mentioned his confidence? It’s solid. We had told him “you might be nervous with the big kids there due to their size, however they will be nervous around you due to the size of your brain.” That might have helped some.

For the past however many weeks, I’ve been nervously anticipating the day I’d open the mailbox and see the envelope from the SAT board. Finally, it came. This past Saturday. Oddly enough, the one day I didn’t check the mail. I pulled it out of the mailbox yesterday evening and my heart dropped just a little. It was here. I kept reminding myself he is 12 and in 7th grade. This is no big deal.

But it is a big deal.

I worried if he didn’t score enough to satisfy him, he’d be upset, or it would affect his confidence during future standardized testing. Knowing that you move grade levels based on these standardized tests, I was more than a little nervous and for a minute, didn’t even want to open the envelope.

After a deep breath, the envelope was open and I was reading his scores and mentally calculating the total. Now, a lot of things have changed since I took the SAT. There is an additional section for writing, increasing the score to 2400 and calculators are allowed. (Kids these days have no idea how easy they have it.)


Let that sink in. Had it just been the traditional 1600, he still would have scored 1040. The 440 on the writing portion was the added number. I was most stunned with the 620 in reading. 620 out of 800 points… by a seventh grader.

I’m in awe of this little person God entrusted to me to raise. He’s the greatest gift I’ve received and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I just hope I can live up to the role I’ve been given as his mother and I can continue enriching his life. No matter how smart he is, I realize my husband I have had a huge role in all of this and it’s my hope, and biggest fear, we can continue to meet his emotional and intellectual needs. I can’t wait to see where he goes.

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