By JALEN FERRELL ’21, ABDER MOUAKI ’21
The PSAT, administered on October 16, can be a stressful time for many students, with many people not seeing the value in it. However, this sense of dread does not apply to all students, as some teens appreciate having a glimpse into what the SAT has to offer.
Many students view the PSAT as simply a useless test in which there is no value/merit but a mandatory practice for the SAT. One of these students is Adbysoui Shittu, 16, who is a Junior at Edison High School, claims, “I am not benefitting from this test. It’s nothing but a waste of time that’s made out to seem important in order to put added stress into students’ lives.” Although this student makes a valid argument as colleges do not actually look at your PSAT scores, in reality, these scores do not hurt a student’s college application process and they can have some hidden benefits which many students tend to overlook.
Taking this seemingly useless test as seriously as the SAT can prove to be advantageous for many. Although it is true that colleges generally do not look at PSAT scores when admitting students, a high score can make all the difference in financial aid. That’s it. There are scholarships available for those with a good PSAT score, which is known to be important considering the cost of today’s college tuition. Additionally, the fact that this test is still technically a practice test can actually be seen as more of a pro than a con. A good score on the SAT can strongly sway a college’s opinion on whether or not to accept a student into their school; thus, it would not be clever to go into that test blind. A similarly formatted test that can give one an idea of where they stand in terms of how they will do on the SAT is nothing but a good opportunity to assess one’s proficiency.
Some students view the PSAT as very important for college, in which students compete for scholarships by attempting to earn the best score possible. One student, Elijah Saunders, believes, “The English portion of the PSAT, I felt very confident although the math section I wasn’t as confident. I also think the PSAT is a great requirement for all sophomores and juniors, so students can see where they are. It offers scholarships for Juniors who get the highest scores across the United States.” Elijah makes a very important point, as he basically explains it’s a great opportunity for scholarships and to receive feedback about their strengths or weaknesses to prepare for the SAT. The PSAT doesn’t negatively affect the college process, as it only puts you ahead to prepare for the next step to college.
The PSATs include benefits, and the test shows the strengths and weaknesses of students to motivate them to work harder towards earning a better score. Accepting the fact that making errors is okay will allow students to develop a better understanding of the SAT test. Points are not lost from wrong answers, so there is no reason not to try. Work hard, practice for the SAT, and if you don’t get the score you want, forget it and continue to practice.