The PSAT: Newly Online
The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), testing period this school year is the week of October 9 at Leesville Road High School. This year is different however, instead of the PSAT being administered on paper, it’s going to be completed online.
With the PSAT being online, it’s to be completed on the software “Bluebook,” which has a built-in Desmos calculator, highlighter and flag tools, and other benefits to taking exams on paper.
Students have two hours and forty-five minutes to complete the exam, which has ninety-eight questions in total.
Studying for the PSAT:
At Leesville, the PSAT is done every year and is optional. Students who choose to do it have to pay a fee to take it. Students who decide to take it, even paying money to do so, still don’t study for the PSAT.
Posted on the @lrhsnews account on Instagram, a poll shows that 82% of students are not studying for the PSAT, leaving only 18% of students who actually are.
There are many reasons for this large divide, whether the student is unsure of how to study, doesn’t care because it’s only for practice, or simply because they don’t have the time to. People often tend to not take the PSAT as seriously as it’s intended to be.
Cameron Wilson, junior, said, “I’m in four AP classes this semester and I just don’t have time to study. It’s important for me to do well in all classes, and I can’t sacrifice that time to study for the PSAT.”
But students who have the time should make an effort to study, the PSAT is a perfect opportunity to practice for the real SAT.
Most colleges require a submission of an SAT score on an application. A student shouldn’t have to submit a score they aren’t proud of, so practicing through the PSAT can be helpful in making them confident in their test.
Paying for the PSAT, and possibly missing class time, and then not studying for the test won’t make it worth it. Specifically for juniors and seniors, missing class time can be damaging, especially in AP classes. So studying for the test and making a better score than if you didn’t study, can make that absence worth it.
Ethan Woodard, junior, said, “I am studying for the PSAT… that way I can prepare for the real thing. I think people should study for the PSAT as a way to get feedback and knowledge of what they should work on for the actual SAT.” With the new addition of Bluebook, he is using that software to study for the test, “through the college board SAT practice tests.”
The test is not only to practice for the SAT, it can also be useful in other ways. Kelly Kim, junior, said, “Your PSAT score can also help qualify you for the NMSQT and other scholarships.”
Students who have studied and taken the PSAT and SAT, can account that it is helpful to do so, Shahid Abdelnasser, a senior who has taken both of the exams says, “Studying for the PSAT made me get a better score because I treated it like the real thing. It was stressful but it really helped me wrap my head around it because taking the test became easier once I got in the habit of taking it.”
Students should prepare for the PSAT by knowing what’s on it.
The exam is all multiple choice, aside from grid questions in the math section. The math section includes algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus. The reading/writing sections include grammar and analytical-related questions.
Teenagers registered for the PSAT should use the opportunity to test their knowledge and possibly submit their scores on college applications.