PSAT opens opportunities for sophomores, juniors

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Jake Roach, Staff Reporter

On Oct. 29th sophomores and juniors gathered in the auditorium and the library to take the PSAT, a standardized test not required by the state. Among these students was junior Ryan Eilers, who had taken the test his previous year. According to Eilers, there is a couple of reasons for the test.

“The test serves two purposes, to be basically a pre-SAT and to be the introduction in the National Merit Scholarship,” Eilers said.

The SAT is a standardized test that is often looked at by colleges when looking at applications. The National Merit Scholarship is based off PSAT scores. According to the website of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, approximately 7,600 finalists a $2500 scholarship

The test is broken into five sections consisting of two parts math, two parts critical reading, and one part writing skills. The content covered in these sections, according to students, isn’t very advanced, but many times students are racing against the clock due to the short testing times.

Sophomore Liam Bloebaum decided to take the PSAT this year despite the fact that it wouldn’t count toward the National Merit Scholarship.

“I thought it would be good to see what the SAT is like. The earlier I took it, the better,” Bloebaum said.

Although students are taking the PSAT to gain practice for the SAT, they also have to prepare for the PSAT itself.

“They [college board] give you a packet of previous tests to go through to gain some practice,” Eilers said.

According to Eilers, the main reason to take the test to try and qualify for the National Merit Scholarship for the chance at getting into a higher level school, but junior Elise Wantling recommends students take it to get used to standardized testing.

“It’s a good introduction into standardized testing and it will help you get into the school you want,” Wantling said.