Do Not Stress Over PSAT Prep

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The PSAT prep guide for the upcoming 2017 fall exam. Photo by Jordan Argano.

Jordan Argano, VHS Writer

Fall break is over and the first week back to school has been more demanding than ever. Sophomores and juniors buckle down as they anxiously prepared for the PSAT exam on Wednesday, October 25, 2017. While this might not be the most crucial test high school students will take, it is good practice to prepare students for the SAT and ACT.

Many teachers and counselors are really pushing the idea of taking the exam and while it may seem tedious and scary, it is worth the reward. Broadcast and Film teacher Mr. Walker recommends that students do take the PSAT and that it will help prepare students for the more important test in the near future.

¨The PSAT had a minimal cost and is great practice for the SAT, which you may need for college entrance and chance for scholarships,¨ Broadcast teacher Mike Walker said.  ¨It’s the only time to take it as a practice to see what you might need to study and how you might do as a junior. As a junior it is the only way to qualify for the national merit scholarship.¨

The National Merit Scholarship can only be obtained by taking the PSAT or the NMSQT as a junior in highschool. If a student makes all of the qualifications for the scholarship, they will be put into an academic scholarship competition for recognition as well as university scholarships administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.  Only 3% of students who take this exam actually qualify for the scholarship, so it is not life or death whether you qualify or not.

Senior Victoria Boyer took the PSAT during her sophomore year of high school. Boyer simply took the exam as a guide for what her test scores would look like if she were to actually take the exam.

¨The PSAT helped me prepare for the SAT because it was a wake up call on how much I needed to improve to get the score I needed,¨ senior Victoria Boyer said. ¨Don’t stress, it may have a fancy name and a scary aura, but the PSAT is nothing but practice! Stay cool and try your best!¨

There are many ways to prepare for the PSAT, it just comes down to which way works best for you. The bare minimum that students can do is study from the booklet that is provided for when purchasing a $16 dollar exam spot payable in the bookstore. There are also many practice tests online as well as study sessions you can put together with your friends.

¨The College Board partnered with Khan Academy so you can connect your accounts and get individualized support based on your PSAT results,¨ E Wing counselor Stacy Hink said. ¨Typical, test preparation apply to the PSAT/NMSQT such as getting a good night’s sleep, eating a good breakfast, time management, review the guide you received when you registered for the test (being informed can relieve some of the pressure students feel when taking this type of test).¨

The PSAT is going to be beneficial in the long run to whomever decides to take it. Not only is it great practice for the format of the SAT, it also gives you a sneak peak on potential future test scores. With a minimal cost it is a no brainer that students should take it.