One North Bergen seventh grader didn’t put pressure on herself when she took the Scholastic Aptitude Test recently, since the test is usually meant for high school juniors and seniors who want to apprise colleges of their reading and math skills. However, the test is sometimes given to gifted middle school students who are simply curious to see how well they will do.
Amanda Ortega, a Robert Fulton School student, and her fellow classmates were asked not to study before they took the test recently, so that officials could know their baseline scores.
Oretga, one of the district’s gifted and talented students, scored a 580 on the writing section of the SAT, which is a full 70 points higher than the state average of 510. She received a 470 on the math and a 500 on verbal.
“Now I’m just really proud of myself that working this hard ever since I was young actually pays off.” – Andrea Ortega
The top score a student can receive is 800 on the verbal (reading), 800 on the math, and 800 on the writing portion, for a total of 2400.
Last week, Ortega said that she thought the test would be very difficult, since high school seniors depend on their scores for acceptance to college.
Even though she did well, she said she had trouble understanding some parts of the test, like the synonym section in the reading portion, as she had never seen those words before.
“At first I was like ‘Wow, I did well,’” said Ortega. “I didn’t think it would be such a humongous thing.”
Love of writing
Ortega said that she has always possessed a love of writing.
“I’ve been writing ever since I was 4 years old,” she said last week. “Back in pre-k, it was about the tooth fairy.”
She added, “I really feel like when I write, I express myself much better than when I’m actually talking. You can explore worlds and you can talk about these things that normally wouldn’t happen in real life.”
She said that she likes writing everything from poems to short stories.
Ortega said she’s also a “big reader,” and enjoys fiction, realistic fiction and autobiographies.
Not only does Ortega enjoy putting her stories down on paper, but she also films them. She said that she films scenes that she adapts from books or recreates from movies, and sometimes even creates animation from clay and then puts it to the screen.
“I really enjoy making movies,” said Ortega, who said most of her creations tend to be comedies.
Proud of success
Rosalyn Nussman, the coordinator of the gifted and talented program, said that having students take the SAT so early helps to identify academic excellence.
“Andrea has shown an incredible aptitude in writing for such a young student and clearly had a bright future ahead of her,” said Nussman. “We are extremely proud of her.”
Ortega was also proud of her test results.
“Now I’m just really proud of myself that working this hard ever since I was young actually pays off.”
Tricia Tirella may be reached at TriciaT@hudsonreporter.com.