How students are feeling about this year PSAT

Bella Dombrowski, Staff Writer

Just one of the many standardized tests students take throughout their high school careers, the PSAT was created to find out which students qualify for the National Merit Scholarship and can also be used to see how they might place on their SAT. It consists of math, reading, writing, and language. Each section is timed and has fill-in-the-blank questions, with a very strict no cheating policy, as the test was created to be similar to the SAT. The higher school grade a student is enrolled in, the higher the score should be. 

Some students don’t like that the sections are timed. For example, sophomore Bryna Gibbons says, “I don’t love that each section is timed because there is little notice given about the draining time.”  On the other hand, sophomore Natalie Gore says “Getting experience while being under pressure can actually prove to be quite helpful later when you have to take the SAT.” Some students may feel that being timed can be more helpful while others find it stressful and annoying.

Students fill in the blanks of the grueling PSAT.
Credit: Vogel Prep

Due to the COVID-19 circumstances, the PSAT and SAT testing process have been split into three days for different grades, which is much different than the usual one day that every student takes it. On testing days students who are not taking the test have an asynchronous day to work on assignments. When asked about this change, Gore says “the process doesn’t change much.” Many students don’t seem to be affected by this and will be taking the test when it is rescheduled.

The PSAT getting postponed by bad weather doesn’t seem to affect people very much either. Sophomore Maria Castro says “I’m happy it got postponed,” while Gibbons says, “I’m kind of annoyed but overall I haven’t thought much of it.” The postponement hasn’t discouraged any students from taking it and has offered more preparation time. The postponement may also offer people who aren’t taking it more time to reconsider.

Students were also asked overall how they feel about it and Castro says “I feel like the PSAT is just a waste of time and it makes some kids look less smart than others, because the smart kids will compare scores and make other kids feel bad.” Gore says “I think the PSAT is a good way to get ready for the SAT so I am taking it. It helps you find out what areas you need to work on for the SAT.” Some students see the PSAT as a way to see where you are now and where you need to improve while others mainly see it as pointless and a hassle that can lead to hurt feelings.

While very different from the standard testing process, many students have not been affected.

Many students also don’t see many downsides to taking the PSAT and if you’re looking to see what you might get on the SAT, you should take it. While it is time consuming and may possibly cause stress, taking it won’t affect any of your grades in any way. Don’t be deterred by any of the challenges that arise with the process regarding COVID-19.