Matt Gusdorff: Conestoga High School Grad and Perfect 1600-Scorer.
Matt Gusdorff, graduate of Conestoga High School, was one of roughly 300 students in the whole country who received a perfect 1600 on his SATs with the help of his instructor from Critical Point Test Prep.
We caught up with him at his current home of Haverford College in Haverford, PA, to get his thoughts on his future plans, choosing Haverford, and his advice to other students looking to score well on their SATs.
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Why did you end up choosing Haverford College?
I was looking for a small college and in school I was always interested in multiple things, not just math and computer science like my major but also German, history, and stuff like that so I wanted to go to liberal arts school. Haverford was nearby, it’s a great school and it has a small population which I was looking for so I could have the opportunity to get to know my professors more and have more opportunities through them. Haverford is just a great combination of those things, and it’s near home which I appreciate.
The transition from high school to college is a big one. What do you wish you would have known before making the jump?
I was fortunate to go to Conestoga, which is a good high school, so I felt prepared, but definitely the biggest thing is living on your own. There are so many social changes that you have to deal with, while you’re also thinking, alright I’ve got to wake myself up for class and it’s all of my own accord. I don’t have any parent to help me deal with that. I’m on my own. A lot of the help you get is from relationships you form with people and that’s just an important part of the process.
So do you feel like you wish you would have practiced a bit more of doing stuff on your own before you came to college?
I think it’s just something where you have to find the people you want to be with and that way find yourself a little bit and it’s just something you have to learn on the go. It’s not something you can really prepare for.
What are your future plans after you graduate?
I’d love to work as a software developer, nothing crazy, not owning Google, or running my own company, but if I come up with a great idea then I’d love to do that. But for now just a typical programming job. It’s what I like doing. It’s fun for me. So just keeping it simple.
Not every student is capable of getting a perfect score but for a student starting roughly where you did when you started practicing for the SATs, what advice would you give them if they wanted to know how to get a perfect score?
A lot of it is practice, and having a lot of material to look at to prepare. But I think mostly it’s being confident, which is how I feel about any test— that if you’re confident not only in that you know the material but also that you have methods that can help you do when you’re stuck or when you run into a little trouble, just having the confidence to say I’ve got this can help you keep on time and can help you get correct answers and if you practice with that confidence can help you develop your skills and knowledge and you’ll just end up doing better.
What did you find was most helpful from your test prep experience?
Just having someone to talk one-on-one with after I took a practice test or did some problems to go over my personal l things I needed to work or personal things I did well so is more aware of myself as a student which isn’t necessarily something you get if you just try to learn from a class at school or if you go to group sessions, but having that 1-on-1 is really just helpful to figure out what you need to work on.