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PSAT fee due in office, Sept. 27

The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) will be offered to FC students, Oct. 17. This tests provides FC students with the chance to prepare for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), a test that will later affect students’ applications for college.

The PSAT will take place in the Peoples Church Gym, starting at 8 a.m.. Students are expected to arrive by 7:45 a.m.. The cost for taking the PSAT is $14, which must be turned in to the office by Sept. 27. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors are recommended to take the test.

Copies of the Official Guide to the PSAT are available in the academic advising office. To prepare for the test, students are advised to look over this guide. More preparation resources can be found on the College Board website. Students should bring a number 2 pencil and an approved calculator, which are four-function, scientific and graphing calculators, for the test.

The PSAT also offers students in their junior year an opportunity to earn a scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). African American students can also apply for a scholarship from the National Scholarship Service (NSS), and Hispanic students can apply for a scholarship from the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP).

The PSAT contains two 25-minute sections of questions based on critical reading, two 25-minute sections of questions based on math and one 30-minute writing skills section. The entire test will take approximately two hours and 10 minutes. Unlike the SAT, the PSAT contains no written essay consisting of only multiple choice questions.

Academic Adviser Michelle Warkentin believes the PSAT gives students a great opportunity to prepare for the SAT.

“Taking the PSAT is important for several reasons,” Warkentin said. “It is one of the best ways to prepare for the SAT, because it gives students a feel for what the real SAT will look and feel like. By filling out the pre-test questions of the PSAT students are also able to select colleges that they would like to receive information from.”

Warkentin also thinks the test will show students how they have improved throughout high school and how they are academically ranked relative to their peers.

“Students can best benefit from this test as a personal academic assessment,” Warkentin said. “It is helpful to take the test each year and acknowledge personal growth from year to year. It is also helpful for students to compare their results to other students their age. Obviously too much weight placed on these scores can be unrealistic, especially for younger students who have not yet learned all academic concepts tested, but it is a great place to start.”

Junior Chloe Duerr took the PSAT last year and reflects on how she will prepare differently for the test this year. She recommends that students begin taking the test early in high school.

“Last year the PSAT was difficult because I didn’t study,” Duerr said. “This year, I’ve been studying more, and I think this upcoming PSAT will help me feel better prepared for the SAT. I’m also hoping to gain scholarships through the PSAT. I recommend that students start as early as freshman year and continue taking it through junior year.”

Bailey Brogan, ’16, will take the PSAT for the first time this year and is ready for the challenges it will present.

“I’m taking the PSAT this year to practice for the SAT,” Brogan said. “It will be almost like a study guide for the SAT and will better prepare me for upcoming tests. I expect it to be difficult, but I’ll take it as a challenge and try to do the best that I can.”

For more news, read the Sept. 25 article AP scores released, FC beats state pass rate.

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