The SAT, or Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a method of evaluating a student’s academic progress, and one of the factors that helps to determine whether or not a student should be admitted to a particular college or university. For Cedric Jennings, however, it is much more than a measure of progress or intelligence—for him, the SAT represents his overall value as a person, even after he is enrolled in the college of his dreams. The first time Cedric appears in A Hope in the Unseen, he is hiding out in the chemistry classroom, cramming for the vocabulary portion of the exam. He is anxious because he scored lower than expected on his PSAT (a practice test for the SAT that he took in the tenth grade), and is focused on a significantly higher score on the SAT. Each time Cedric interacts with other students who are equally ambitious, the topic of SAT scores always comes up (even at Brown), and each time, Cedric is consumed with shame over his below-average score, which feeds into and symbolizes his low self-esteem.
The SAT Quotes in A Hope in the Unseen
“You’re low, you’re tired, you’re fighting, you’re waiting for your vision to become reality—you feel you can’t wait anymore! […] Say ‘I’ll be fine tonight ‘cause Jesus is with me.’ SAY IT! SAY IT!”