PSATs Valuable Practice for the Real Deal


Gracie Cox

Nonnewaug students Oct. 12 took the PSATs, which help underclassmen prepare for the SATs.

Maia Colavito, Reporter

WOODBURY — For almost 100 years, students all around the United States have been sitting down and taking the SATs — much like what this year’s Nonnewaug juniors and some seniors will do.

These tests, which started in 1926, can be a great measure of academic success in college, but they can cause a great deal of stress for some students. The College Board created a way to assist in preparation and gave students a way to see their predicted scores on the real test – the PSATs, which have been administered since 1959.

“​PSATs offer students a chance to practice for the SATs. It could be considered test prep in that the scores are not seen by colleges, but it familiarizes students with the test questions and format,” College and Career Resource Center counselor Kathy Green said. “Additionally, a strong score in junior year could qualify a student for a National Merit Scholarship.”

When scored highly upon, the PSATs provide an opportunity to earn certain titles like Commended Scholar and National Merit Semifinalist. These can be an important distinction between each student when colleges are looking through applications.

Senior Jamie Paige was grateful for the PSAT experience when the actual SATs rolled around.

“Taking the PSATs before taking the actual SATs helped me learn the format of the test,” Paige said. “Even though the PSAT is a watered down version of the SAT, it was still really helpful, and it helps you get into that mindset.”

Most of this year’s freshman class took the PSAT for the first time on the school-wide PSAT day Oct. 12, giving them a chance to see what areas of the test they need to improve on, and what AP courses they would do well in. However, according to Green, the test taken by the underclassmen may not be proper preparation for the upcoming years.

“Next year’s SATs will be in a digital format,” Green said, “so I’m not sure that freshmen and sophomores benefit from the PSAT testing in this format.”