Students take PSAT

Anna-Lisse Lenard, Reporter

Earlier this week, Sophomores and Juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT.  The former were set in the gym while other took it in the library. The PSAT is a nationwide test that prepares student for the SAT, which only juniors take. Over 3.5 million students across the country take the test each year.

The test consists of four sections: reading – 60 minutes, writing – 45 minutes, math (without a calculator) – 35 minutes, and math (with a calculator) – 25 minutes, giving a grand total of 2 hours and 45 minutes. The English sections included evidence-based comprehension using world literature, social studies, history, and science while math sections included algebra, data analysis, problem-solving, and advanced math. Graphs and tables also accompanied many of the problems.

Scores can range from 320-1520 and are combined from all sections. Only right answers are scored; students did not lose points for incorrect or incomplete answers. The points earned (raw scores) are then converted into percentages to show students what percentile they are in out of all test takers. For example, if a student scores into the 67th percentile, then they did better than 67% of test takers. College Board will release the scores online starting December 11th of this year.

To make the test fair and give everyone an equal opportunity, strict rules and guidelines are set in place. Schools have a choice of three test dates: Wednesday, October 11th, Saturday, October 14th, or Wednesday, October 25th. Students are not allowed to have cellphones, talk, share calculators, or discuss the test. The test is strictly timed and proctors were stationed around the room to supervise.

The PSAT may not seem crucial, students are encouraged to do their best because it is good preparation for the SAT. When they receive their scores, they can study on areas that they need to improve. Although the PSAT seems long and difficult, it is a good opportunity to give students a greater chance for success.

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