South to Hold PSAT and SAT on October 10
On Wednesday, Oct. 10, South is administering the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT), the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). This means that almost the entire school will be testing that day.
Both the SAT and PSAT are comprised of 4 sections: reading, writing, math with a calculator, and math without a calculator. Although, some seniors have elected to take the SAT with an essay portion. The NMSQT is taken at the same time as the PSAT and determines if someone is a candidate for a National Merit scholarship, while the ASVAB is administered by the military and matches students to career paths.
“I mean if you want to go on to a further education than high school, taking the PSAT will help you take the SAT.” said Corrin Hoyer ‘21.
All freshmen are required to take the PSAT 8/9. However, South is funding the testing, so it is free of charge. All sophomores and AVID students take the PSAT/NMSQT free of charge as well. This is funded by the State of Oregon. Juniors can take the PSAT/NMSQT for $16, or less if they qualify for free or reduced lunches. The deadline to sign-up is Oct. 3 through the bookkeeper. Juniors who do not take the PSAT will take the ASVAB, which is free of charge.
“One of the things that we have done is expand or give students more of an opportunity to take rigorous tests. And the research shows that the more exposure we can give to students in taking these high stakes tests, when it does come to the ACT or the SAT they’re so much more prepared,” said Melissa Groninger, the assistant principal organizing PSAT/SAT day.
197 seniors are signed up at South to take the SAT, this is almost half of the senior class. This number is much higher than that of any other school in the district that is holding the SATs. This is the first time in many years that South will be holding the SAT at the school and the first time ever that the SAT has been held during a school day. Usually the SAT is held at a different location, on a Saturday. This made it harder for people to take the test. The new change is due to a recent decision by the College Board.
“Now that it’s [the SAT] here and now that it’s easily accessible, I think that we’ve really dramatically expanded the number of students who have the opportunity to take the test,” said Groninger.
The purpose of the SAT is to determine a student’s readiness for college. It provides schools with a common data point to compare students who are applying. It is necessary that all students in the U.S.who want to continue on to college take either the SAT or the American College Testing program (ACT). Meanwhile, the purpose of the PSAT is to prepare students for the SAT.
Groninger suggests visiting college board and using their practice tests and resources, prior to taking the test. She also suggest getting a good night’s sleep before the test and a good breakfast that morning. Most importantly she recommends that everyone tries their best on their tests and takes them seriously.
Historically, South students have scored in line with the state average on the SAT, above the national average.