Grades 9-11 to take PSAT

School offers Jan. 26 test date after COVID-19 restrictions forced limits on October test attendance

Makenna Kramer, Reporter

WEB EXCLUSIVE Underclassmen and juniors who couldn’t take the PSAT in October have the option to take the test on Tuesday. 

Although test-takers cannot submit PSAT scores to colleges, the school is administering the test to younger students to give them standardized test-taking experience, according to College Counselor Caitlin Walsh. 

“It is an opportunity to experience a test before it really has a lot of weight,” Walsh said. “It doesn’t differ a whole lot from the SAT, so it’s meant to get students used to the format, types of questions and content on that test.”

For juniors like Shana Ong, Tuesday’s test will be her third, a fact she says makes her more confident. 

“Having to take the PSAT my freshman and sophomore years most definitely prepared me,” Ong said. “I still plan on studying by doing the practice test booklet and going through the questions with a focus on my weaker spots.”

Studying resources can be found on the College Board website and Kahn Academy, but College Counselor Tom Esponnette says students shouldn’t stress over extended preparation. 

“The PSAT isn’t something that you need to dedicate hours a week to, especially if you’re a freshman or sophomore,” Esponnette said. “It can be helpful to look at timing and exam structure, but other than that, you should just try your best.”

Proctors will enforce safety precautions like face coverings and social distancing on test day and students must bring their daily symptom forms with them. Test-takers currently learning remotely can also take the PSAT but must fill out an additional community pledge. 

“I’m a little concerned about safety but I feel better because everybody has gotten tested,” sophomore Audra Dawkins, who does remote learning, said. “I just want to see where I am in terms of scoring and I’m excited to see how well I can do.”

When the College Board releases test results in mid-March, students will have the opportunity to look at individual questions and evaluate their performance across subject areas. 

“I hope students look at the data that’s produced,” Walsh said. “That way they can see how ready they really were and know how to better prepare for the real test.”