Underclassmen to take PSAT Oct. 15


Sessen Stephanos

PSAT test prep during PIT

Sessen Stephanos, Lifestyles and Entertainment Editor

All 9th-11th grade students will be taking the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) exam on Oct.15.

The PSAT consists of five different sections testing over three different subject areas: critical reading, math and writing. The total test time is 2 hours and 10 minutes.The test has two 25-minute math sections, two 25-minute critical reading sections and one 30 minute math section. Many students may be wondering what the importance of the PSAT is. The PSAT gives students many opportunities to prepare for the actual SAT, which is needed for college admission.

The PSAT holds different priorities depending on your grade level. For freshman, the test is simply there to serve as practice in preparation for the real SAT exam and for other PSATs taken in the future.

For sophomores, the score that each student receives serves as a qualifier for college readiness and dual-credit classes.

“If you are a sophomore, and thinking about taking ACC courses, it’s important that you try hard on this test and do well so you don’t have to take additional tests to qualify for dual-credit classes,” counselor Amy Rodriguez said.

The scores received sophomore year can give students a good idea of what to improve on for junior year.

For juniors, the stakes are even higher, the PSAT scores serve as a qualifier for the National Merit Program for semi-finalist or commended students as well as National Achievement and National Hispanic Recognition.

“All of those titles basically mean scholarship money along with the extra title attached to your name which looks really good on college applications as well as coming with some scholarship money at various universities,”Rodriguez said.

Over 3.6 million students take the PSAT each year, while only eleventh graders can qualify for scholarships and recognition, younger students can benefit from early feedback on their test taking skills.

Preparation for the PSAT or SAT can be found on the college board website. Students can try practice problems and learn which skills are going to be tested on the exam. The more practice you get, the more confident you will be when taking the actual test.