9th-11th Graders To Take PSAT Oct. 10


Andre Covian

Students prep for PSAT in Susan Sitran’s third period class.

Brooke Abramson, Reporter

Sharpened #2 pencils and graphing calculators will be necessities next Wednesday as all 9th-11th graders will be taking the PSAT on Oct. 10. For many teens, the prospect of another test might not seem the most exciting way to spend a day, but experts say the PSAT test does serve a purpose.

All juniors take the PSAT NMSQT, and their scores as a whole affect how high students have to score to become a National Merit Semi-Finalist and apply for a scholarship. Senior Ankita Rao achieved this score earning the semi-finalist title.

“When I found out I was a Semi-Finalist, I could hardly believe it. I was so happy to have seen the result of my efforts in preparing for the PSAT,” Rao said.

Freshman and sophomores take the PSAT 8/9 and the PSAT 10, which are meant to show what level they’re at in terms of test content, while juniors take the PSAT NMSQT, which presents the possibility of applying for a scholarship.

Sophomores who do well on this year’s test can open up the opportunity to be a member of the PSAT team as a junior preparing for the NMSQT.

“The extra prep translates into AP [English] III and upper level math classes,” PSAT team teacher Susan Sitran said. “It gives them an idea of how prepared they are for college, puts them on college radars and opens doors to scholarship opportunities. We do practice, mock exams, Khan Academy, No Red Ink, we read different resources about strategies and tips for test-taking.”

Even though the PSAT is next Wednesday, Sitran has some reassuring counsel: instant PSAT prep is literally right at your fingertips. According to Sitran, reflection is the key for students to improve their test scores.

“I think Khan Academy [is the best way to practice]” she said. “Then each time [students] practice,  [they] look at questions they got wrong, what happened so they’re not getting them wrong in the future.”

Rao’s experience also reflects the importance of preparation.

“To practice for the test, I took a short tutoring course from More Than A Teacher, and I was in PSAT Team, both of which offered free practice SATs to prepare for the PSAT. Practicing for the PSAT really did help me with taking the SAT,” she said. “There are numerous resources to help you prepare, so take advantage of them.”

In regard to formulating the perfect test day routine, Sitran has several pieces of advice for students.

“Get a good night’s sleep, eat breakfast, come in with a good attitude, and manage your time on each section,” she said.

Next Wednesday, students will need several sharpened #2 pencils (mechanical pencils aren’t allowed) and a graphing or scientific calculator.

While a day of standardized testing might seem tricky, those who have experience with the test say students will be glad they took the PSAT.

Share Button