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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor

PSAT introduces standardized test format

Though many students stress at the thought of the often inevitable Scholastic Aptitude Reasoning Test (SAT), the Preliminary Standard Achievement Test (PSAT) offers a method to prepare for the required college acceptance exam.

The test will be administered in the Peoples Church gym from 8-11:30 a.m., Oct. 15. Students must sign-up and pay a $13 fee in order to take the test and receive a practice booklet.

The PSAT, although shorter in length, introduces students to the format of standardized tests.

“It is a huge benefit for students to take [the PSAT],” vice principal Molly Sargent said. “It is just like the SAT, but shorter. When they take the SAT, they are already familiar with the format so they can focus on the questions.”

Most sophomore and junior students take advantage of this opportunity to prepare for the SAT during their junior or senior years.

“I am going to take the test because it’s pretty cheap and it helps you get ready for the regular SAT,” Melissa O’Leary, ’10, said. “I’m nervous though, because I want to do well, but I know it’s just practice.”

However, some view the test as a waste of time and nonessential to college success.

“I don’t see why I should worry about taking the test,” sophomore Tyler Haritzalde said. “College is four years from now and the only reason I would take it would be to get out of class, but I don’t want to take the actual test.”

In addition to providing an introduction to standardized tests for later high school years and college, the PSAT allows students to enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation to compete for scholarships.

Less than 1% of the 1.5 million students who take the test qualify for the scholarships.

“Students should take [the PSAT] to be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship which recognizes the highest scores nationwide,” Sargent said.

Despite negative comments about the PSAT, Sargent encourages students to take the test multiple times to ensure adequate preparedness.

“We encourage everyone, freshmen to juniors, to take [the PSAT],” Sargent said. “Students will be that much more prepared the more times they do. And really it’s not to see how smart someone is; it’s to see if a student is ready for college.”

For more information on the SAT and PSAT, visit CollegeBoard.com. This Web site also offers study aids, questions with answers and a practice test.

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