Think about your typical Saturday morning: you roll out of bed at around 10:30 am (at the absolute earliest), eat breakfast, watch some TV and text friends for some last-minute plans. However, for those enrolled to take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test on Oct. 19, their morning will take a completely different turn. The PSAT will be held at 7:30 am at Carlsbad High School, with a required entrance fee of 22 dollars.
“The PSAT is so helpful in so many ways,” math teacher Ms. Avalos said.”It’s just an easier practice run for the SAT. The PSAT gives you an idea of what to expect on the SAT– and lets you know your strengths and weaknesses so you can improve.”
While many students automatically associate the PSAT with “unimportant,” there are many benefits to taking this test in one’s sophomore and junior years. As a sophomore, it provides a rough estimate of where one is scholastically, presenting a gauge to how close one is to the ultimate SAT goal. However, juniors have the opportunity to earn large amounts of scholarship money through the National Merit Scolarship program.
“Last year, I didn’t really do any extra preparations, just because it was only sophomore year,” junior Karinya Ghiara said. “But this year, I’m definitely going to the PSAT boot camp this Saturday. I’m really hoping for a National Merit Scholarship.”
Students who receive a high PSAT score are entered into the National Merit Scholar program, where they will either become a Commended Scholar or a National Merit Scholar. National Merit Scholars are awarded with different amounts of scolarship money. Even if one does not win National Merit money, becoming a Commended Scholar represents a huge honor, something that looks very impressive on college applications.
For those students taking the PSAT next Saturday, don’t stress. Being calm and relaxed is better for the brain than being exhausted from cramming.
“Be well rested– nobody can preform well on a test without a good night’s sleep” chemistry teacher Ms. DeCino said. “There are so many tests nowadays, students just need to try their best.”