By Annabell Werner
Each year High School Juniors around the world take the PSATs. But have you ever wondered what these exams are and why you take them?
The PSATs are a practice version of the SATs. During both the PSATs and the SATs students are tested on their knowledge and skills through a reading test, a writing and language test, and a math test.
The PSATs allow students all over the world to check their knowledge. They are a good practice for the SATs, which are required by many, especially US-based, universities in the application process. Another benefit is getting a higher chance to get a scholarship offered to you.
According to Mr. Munnerlyn, the tests are a “measure of your academic potential capabilities” and also help you practice standardized testing due to the fact that they are “supposed to simulate the setting, time and questions for the SATs.”
ASW offers a free opportunity for 11th Graders to take them, in order to practice standardised testing. According to Mr. Munnerlyn it’s a “ good practice for our tenth graders. We do other standardised testing with them, mainly MAP. For 11th Graders we do not do any other types of standardised testing.”
Though ASW usually averages 120 students taking the test, this year we will have about 135.
While 11th Graders are highly encouraged and required to take them, but also any 10th Grader who volunteers.
A good example of this is Mara B. (11th Grade) who took the PSATs last year and will retake them this year. In her opinion she thinks that taking them last year might help her this time, “I know what to expect now,” she said.
An example of a person who took them the first time is Phoebe S. (also 11th Grade). She states that she is “somewhat nervous, since I don’t know what to expect but it’s not really imperative for my future or anything so I’m trying not to worry too much about it.” But she still prepares herself by looking through the student guide, given by the counselors.
Mr Josh Skjold, who took both the SAT and PSATs, follows Mr Munnerlyn’s opinion and sees the PSATs as a good prep for the SATs, which he needed to apply to his college and even “may have contributed to getting into school.” Mr Josh says that he took his Practice SAT at school, but took the official SAT at a university. For him, having a prep-class at Kaplan, which was all based on helping students prepare for the SATs, helped him in the later final test.
According to Mr. Munnerlyn, you should not get ”too excited about your score” on the PSAT. “At the same time don’t get too down about your score. It is a measurement, not the measurement.”