Is the PSAT worth continuing ?



Although the PSAT is only practice and can’t hurt, the SAT not being considered defeats the purpose of the exam.

Get your #2 pencils and calculators ready. The PSAT is here.

The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test)is a preliminary practice test for the SAT exam. It tests students’ knowledge in four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, and two math sections one with a calculator and one without. Students are timed for each section and given two 5 minute breakers with the whole test spanning 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Don’t get me wrong here: a free standardized test is beneficial in helping students understand their readiness level for the SAT. The PSAT, for many, is like the opening of floodgates to the world of standardized admissions testing and official scores.

Let’s be true though. For almost everyone but a small fraction of juniors whose PSAT will be high enough to qualify them as semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship, PSAT scores don’t matter. I say almost because there are a few areas – namely athletic recruiting and certain extracurricular program admissions (like summer programs at colleges at universities) — whose administrators pay any sort of attention to preliminary scores. But again I am talking about mere percentages who will use the test score for academic judgment.

Considering the fact that the test is really meant to be the first taste of what the SAT will be like, the PSAT is already similar to the hundreds of benchmark knowledge tests out there for students. As a junior and second-time test taker I really see no value in the test considering that the SAT is no longer required by colleges. To top it all off after a gruesome three hours and missing half of lunch students are expected to show up to their next class and pay attention. 

After taking the test again this year it is safe to say that some didn’t take the test as seriously as it seems like many students didn’t feel like we needed the scholarship provided by the PSAT, as most of us haven’t even made a decision about college. Although one thing most of us test takers look forward to is the memes about the various reading passages and other questions that spread on social media platforms even if it’s against College Board’s rules. As we juniors slowly move into senior year the jokes will no longer apply to us and yet again students will gather their #2 pencils and calculator for another year of testing.