PSAT: Worth the Five Hour Ride


Adriana Meijaard

Students should take the opportunity of taking the PSAT their freshman year because it will help them in the future.

Adriana Meijaard, Staff Writer

Millions of bubbles to fill out and five hours long, oh the PSAT. The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) may be quite intimidating to a freshman, but it is one of the most helpful tools to pass the SAT. The PSAT/NMSQT can be broken down into three important aspects: practice, scholarship, and experience. The test is also key in expanding knowledge and skills in order to prepare for college.

Taking the PSAT during freshman year allows students to see what their strengths and weaknesses are in reading, writing and math; knowing this information gives students an advantage because they can improve on their weaknesses until they actually take the SAT. Additionally, the National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP) and the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) look for students worthy of a scholarship through the PSAT. However, only juniors taking the PSAT in October are considered to apply for the NHRP scholarships. Freshmen students at Gables who take an Honors Geometry or Honors Algebra 2 class are able to take the PSAT for free. Additionally, it is mandatory and free to take the PSAT/NMSQT sophomore year at Gables. Students should take this opportunity seriously since it allows them to be exposed to one of the most important tests that will determine where they will go to college.

“I think freshmen should take the PSAT because it is a big help and it prepares them for the actual test. Plus, this way they get an idea of what the SAT will be like,” freshman Casey Obando said.

Despite the PSAT being free for certain students, some people believe that taking the PSAT freshman year is useless because it is not mandatory. They also argue that it’s best to take the test  sophomore year since it’s the closest year to practice for the PSAT that actually counts. However, taking the PSAT two years before taking it in junior year can improve scores; as a result, it will benefit students when the NMSQT is looking for recipients to receive their scholarship. Furthermore, students not going to college find it pointless to take a test that prepares them for the standardized test they need to take in order to go to college. 

There is no need to be scared when taking the PSAT as there is no “bad” score, but only wisdom and potential. The PSAT helps students manage their time between the short sections of math, writing and reading. Since there is always room for improvement, the popular phrase “practice makes perfect” isn’t something that should be disregarded; instead, it’s something to live by. All the things you do know will pay off in the future, but procrastination only slows this process down. Even if you don’t see scholarships or even college in your future, it doesn’t matter, as you should take the test either way. It doesn’t hurt to try because you never really know what the future has in store for you, and five hours could change your life in the long run. Additionally, the PSAT lasts the whole school day, so Gables is at a complete standstill until all the testing is over. This means that you will go to the cafeteria, gym or auditorium if you are not taking the test and would be wasting a day instead of working towards your future.

“The PSAT is essential and is so helpful when going through high school. I recently took the SAT and it didn’t come as much as a surprise because I had practiced so much over the years,” junior Lucianne Vivas said.

In the end, the PSAT is there for practice and for your own benefit. Furthermore, all the academic progress made in high school will affect your life in college and your career. The PSAT/NMSQT is important in developing skills of time management that will only benefit your future, so make sure that you are putting the progress, practice, and potential in PSAT.

[powr-poll id=e3e04386_1507936636397]