Britney Rosales, a senior at Saddleback High School in the Santa Ana Unified School District, has a passion for all things musical. She sings soprano in a chamber group, and she’s always loved dancing. Britney told us: “It’s been my dream to do something with music since I was six years old.”
Britney’s approach to music is matched by her passion for breaking down big challenges into manageable steps. Musicians play individual notes to make measures and phrases, which comprise the larger piece. Britney tackled the SAT in a similar way. Before she took the SAT, she said, “it was a bit stressful. It was overwhelming.” When she was in eighth grade, her first reaction to learning about the test was disbelief: “Four hours of a test?!”
CollegeSpring helped Britney overcome the stress of a high-stakes, half-day test. Taking the SAT as a junior was still “a bit stressful,” she says, “but I liked it.” She liked knowing that her school had invested in her as a test-taker. Going into the SAT, Britney said, “I felt more comfortable and more at ease knowing that I had the support I needed. Knowing that, I was like, ‘You know what? I can do this.’”
Britney also liked how CollegeSpring’s program made different kinds of SAT questions into step-by-step processes and gave her space to practice. Britney used CollegeSpring’s score reports to sharpen her skills: “It helps because now you know what you need to focus on instead of just focusing on what you think you are weak on.”
When Britney retook the SAT as a senior, she found herself returning to her CollegeSpring materials. “I went back and looked through my CollegeSpring book I still had, and I also used a bit of Khan Academy. If I found my weaknesses, I’d go back to [the] CollegeSpring [handbook] and be like, okay, this is how you do it.” The course materials served as a helpful reminder of how to tackle the test long after CollegeSpring officially ended.
Britney is currently applying to colleges, where she hopes to turn her love of music into a career. She has submitted applications to Cal State San Marcos, Cal State Fullerton, UCLA, UCI [UC Irvine], and the AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts.
Music majors require students to submit an audition along with their academic records. In her usual style, Britney went in prepared: “A week before my audition, I went to the open house. They gave us tips and tricks, and we got to do a one-on-one session with the administrator. They gave us a tape of the audition too, so when I went in there, I was comfortable.” Nevertheless, the audition was not entirely without hiccups: “I had to sing and act, and I was like, ‘I can’t do two characters!’ And you can’t look at the floor. The floor’s a nice place!”
Britney offers this advice to juniors starting the CollegeSpring program: “Don’t overthink it. Don’t stress over it.” She realizes that the bulky handbook may seem intimidating at first, and a four-hour test may always remain a little daunting. However, she advocates taking CollegeSpring’s SAT curriculum as it comes: “Even though it may seem like a lot, in reality it’s little by little, taking it step by step.”
“The more you go into it, the more you realize it’s for your benefit. It’s going to help you. Soon you realize, why did I overthink it? Why did I stress over it? I actually like it!”