PSAT: who’s going to take it?


Ibrahim Saxe

Samedi Ly (11) contemplates whether or not taking the PSAT is worth it.

Ibrahim Saxe, Staff Writer

The PSAT and SAT tests have generally been used by college admissions to be able to sort through applicants in conjunction with the student’s grade point average. To help prepare students for the SAT, the PSAT, Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, will be held at Ayala High School on Tuesday, October 25th.

However with the rise of COVID-19, many universities and colleges have dropped this requirement even to this day. Many students are still on the fence on about the PSAT.

“I’m still unsure on whether to take the PSAT or not, since I haven’t done as much preparation for it,” junior Albert Cheng. This echoes a broader trend away from the PSAT and SAT being necessary for entering college. 

“The PSAT definitely helps with college, since in the modern day, it looks like colleges see everything you do and are definitely going to take the PSAT into account,” said Cheng. 

There is also the issue of many students not knowing what the PSAT is. Many students still don’t know what this test is, let alone what its purpose is. Others take the viewpoint that if a college requires the SAT, it is of a higher prestige.

“The students that want to get into those colleges are more willing to take up the offer,” said junior Sam Ly. This provides reasons for students who are not going to such a “big-name” level college to not take the PSAT or SAT.

Many students struggle to find ways to study for the PSAT. “For math, do a bunch of problems and if we are practicing for the PSAT multiple choice, find a book with many multiple choice questions or released questions online,” AP Calculus AB teacher Mr. Adam Sjol said. “Set a timer to feel like doing the math under the pressure. Then you go back to redo questions and repeat.”

For the math part of the PSAT, it’s really all about working under pressure to be able to do well. Many students have difficulty trying to find a good calculator and learning about them.

“I would use a scientific calculator because it’s faster to find the different functions but if you’re going to take the graphing calculator… you are going to spend time trying to find a function,” said Mr. Sjol. He hammers the point that many students don’t understand how to use a graphing calculator effectively while under pressure.

Despite these challenges some students still think that the PSAT has some value.

“The PSAT does help colleges seek out applicants and test some of your academic ability,” said Cheng.

What will happen to the PSAT? Only time will tell.