Students take PSAT on a virtually empty campus

Anisa Alam, Staff Writer

After about eight months of being away from school, more than 200 Clark students made their way back for a day of PSAT testing Oct. 14. Originally, a few days after the PSAT announcement, the test was cancelled for a short while due to health regulations. However, after the L.A. County Public Health Department gave the all clear, the PSAT date was back on. 

Starting bright and early at 7:30 a.m., students lined up in front of their proctors, making sure to keep six feet apart. “I was kind of anxious about it at first, but then it was fine,” said junior Hasmik Hovhannisyan. “It felt weird not having as many people in the halls, and having all the rules and stuff.” 

Before entering the building, students had to check their temperatures one by one. Proctors led their groups one at a time through the hallways, making sure to keep distance between the students. The whole process was strictly regulated to minimize the risks as much as possible.

Students tested in classrooms for almost four hours, with their desks spread out and masks on the entire time. They were not allowed to hug their friends or reconnect with their teachers, many of whom they hadn’t seen in more than over half a year. “I was kind of used to it because we’ve been practicing social distancing for a while and it has become our new normal,” said junior Dveen Agazaryan, “but at the same time I wasn’t used to not being able to say hi to my friends and get close to them.” 

Junior Nicole Matar felt more pressured to perform better on the PSAT this year than she did the previous year. “Last year I didn’t study or even open the booklet,” Matar said, “but this year because I’m a junior I felt like it mattered so much more.” Like Agazaryan, she also felt odd not being able to hug or talk to any of her friends, some of whom she hadn’t seen in months. “When I walked into the classroom and saw the desks were placed six feet apart, it really hit me that we probably wouldn’t go back to school this year and even if we did it wouldn’t be the same,” Matar said. 

On Oct. 29, a second group of students will be returning to school to take their PSAT as well. The same procedure will be followed for the remaining students.