Hosted Annually at Gables, the PSAT Makes Its Return

All+students+are+granted+the+opportunity+to+take+the+PSAT+every+October+and+review+for+the+actual+SAT+exam.+

Andres Rodriguez

All students are granted the opportunity to take the PSAT every October and review for the actual SAT exam.

Overflowing with concerns about high school, college and beyond, millions of students nationwide rely on test scores to impress on college applications. Targeting juniors and sophomores, the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test exposes students to college-level opportunities in order to remain competitive in a world full of dedicated scholars.

Distributed to schools nationwide, the PSAT offers a base for college readiness and exposes students to the type of content they will face on the actual Scholastic Aptitude Test. Required by many schools, the SAT plays a vital role in college admissions. The PSAT is designed to mimic its higher-level curriculum and build the foundation for students’ junior year when the SAT is stressed most.

The PSAT is encouraged and distributed every October to those who apply to practice. In 2021, it was affirmed by the College Board that more than 2 million students elected to take the PSAT across the nation.

“The PSAT is a great opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with college entrance exams. It is never too early to start preparing for these exams, as acceptances into college get more competitive every year,” College Assistance Program advisor Ms. Sanz de Acedo said.

I think that Gables hosting [the PSAT] makes it easy for students to take the exam on a school day rather than going somewhere else to take it. Using personal experience, the PSAT helped me with a summer with the Princeton Review and it’s a great tool to reflect on what you did well and what you can improve on specifically,”

— junior Monica Santamaria

Sitting in their rooms for 2 hours and 45 minutes, students are given a variety of questions, including evidence-based reading, writing and math, like the real SAT. From multiple-choice options to written responses, both exams cover similar question types and areas of knowledge that students will need going forward.

Altogether, the PSAT consists of a 65-minute reading period followed by 35 minutes of writing and language as well as a 70-minute portion for math. Combining scores for each section, the exam is weighted on a scale of 320 to 1520, which is similar to SAT scoring at a scale of 400 to 1600.

“The PSAT helped me familiarize myself with the process of the SAT and [gave me] my peak score and how I can improve for next time. I took the test my freshman year and I was able to get a great experience out of it while learning more about the exam and all the rewards that stem from it,” sophomore Ruben Sanchez said.

Upon submitting their scores, test-takers are granted the opportunity to visit the College Board website to review content and gain personalized feedback. The resources are limitless as PSAT takers can pinpoint areas for improvement and compare their scores to the top percentile in the United States.

With college acceptance rates on the decline, the PSAT automatically qualifies test-takers for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Recognizing the top percentile of each state, the National Merit Scholarship Program awards up to $2,500 to semifinalists with the highest scores from each state. Additionally, concordant SAT scores of 1330 are required for certain financial aid programs such as the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

For more information, visit the Gables website for the Oct. 12 PSAT date.