Tomorrow’s PSAT May Qualify Students for National Scholarships

October 9, 2018




Captured by  Kaleiah Gonzalez– PSAT study guides available if requested 

By Kaleiah Gonzalez 

Tomorrow, all sophomores will be taking the PSAT’s on campus.

The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship. Depending on how high scholars score, they may be eligible for more scholarships. The test is broken into two different categories: math and evidence-based reading. Students are scored on each section separately; the score range is 160-760 for each section, with a total of 1520, making that the perfect score.

This test is not to be taken lightly because it does prepare students for the SAT and ACT in the following years. Those tests are what colleges look at when deciding to either accept or deny scholar applications. The PSAT and SAT are almost identical: the PSAT being 15 minutes shorter and does not include an essay it prepares students for everything else they need to know.

Junior Noah Bueschel stated, “You can’t pass if you don’t study, and it is already hard enough being a sophomore so just study–it makes everything so much easier”. Many of the scholars that have taken this test multiple times all say the same thing; studying for the test is helpful. Scholars are given a study guide and a packet at the beginning of the year.

Senior Katherine Rader has taken the PSAT twice. She said the first time she took it she got a 1280 and 1310 the second time. She says that studying helped her because the first time she just went in blind, but the second time she studied and it increased her score by 30 points. Her advice for the sophomores taking it is, “Consider it more as a practice test because the format is really similar to the SAT, so if you plan on taking the SAT in order to get into college consider this as prep. But don’t stress yourself too much because there are more serious tests coming up.”

Senior Max De Jong said he has only taken the PSAT once and it did not do as well as he would have liked. He studied and did many different practice tests, but because he did not know that he could not get extended time because of his ADHD, he had to rush everything. He said a word of advice is to make sure you get what you need in order to properly take the test.

Many of the seniors that have taken this test tend to do poorly the first time they take it, but the second time they learned from their mistakes and studied or figured out what they had to do in order to do well. Naudia Lane is one example because she did not time manage, but the second time she took it she made sure to take practice timed tests and prepare for this test fully.

The test is free for sophomores and costs $16 to retake it as a junior.

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