By Lindsey Diamond and Nathan Rolls
In October, all juniors, and a few sophomores, experience the PSATs. The three hour test consists of four sections: reading, writing, and two math sections. In one of the math sections, you cannot use a calculator. For the occasion, we decided to ask some of the test takers about the experience. Many of the juniors who took the PSATs also as sophomores, felt the PSATs were harder this year than last year. Everyone taking the PSATs signed a contract expressing to not release any of the contents on the test to the public, so this article will stress more about preparing for the PSATs. We will also ask for other people’s opinions after they took the test.
Taking the PSATs as a sophomore is an option, and at only fifteen dollars, is recommended that sophomores take that route, so the test isn’t completely foreign the second time around. Also, you get your scores and the wrong answers back from the College Board. That gives you a whole year to study and correct what mistakes were made the first time you tested. Another way to prepare for the PSATs is by using the practice test the College Board hands out near the testing time. The book contains of all four sections and takes a little over three hours to finish, like the real test. After the test, you can either use the app to get your score by scanning the multiple choice answers, many kids didn’t find this to be accurate in the slightest, or manually grading the multiple choice yourself. In the opinions of many of the juniors who also took the test as sophomores interviewed, they would recommend manually grading
We asked a few juniors what they thought of the tests. “I thought that this year’s PSATs were much more difficult than last year’s. Because of this, I don’t think I did incredibly well,” said one junior. This can be particularly stressful considering this is a practice SAT, which essentially dictates the school you will go to. On the bright side, however, it is a practice SAT, and its intentions are to help us prepare for the SATs, which are crucial to the college application process. Students taking the PSAT are given a practice book in which they can look over and study before the test. The PSAT also dictates which scholarships you might be able to apply for.
Though the PSAT is important, it is imperative to understand that this is simply a standardized test and does not dictate the level at which people are capable of thinking.