PSAT, useful benchmark for students beginning college process


Alix Glickman ’23

PSAT scores were released in an email sent out to students on April 19. These scores are helpful for sophomores as they begin the college process and seek out tutoring options to prepare for their grade 11 SAT or ACT.

Annually, Staples provides a PSAT for all freshmen, sophomores and juniors in March. Although it is just a practice SAT, the results are useful to begin the college admission process. With Staples supplying the PSAT for students, the test is incredibly convenient and beneficial for students who are eager to start tutoring for the real exam. 

As a sophomore at Staples High School, I feel the constant pressure to strive for the acceptance of a prestigious college. With the help of PSAT scores, students can further receive the best tutoring that is catered to improve the skills they need to work on in preparation for the real SAT in junior year.

Preparing for a test is imperative, and the desire to succeed only increases as the extremity of the test grows as well. ACTs and SATs are a huge contribution to the stress of the college process, and students typically spend months preparing for the test.

Entering sophomore year, the PSAT is something that requires more attention because those test scores are typically sent to tutors who would aid students’ SAT prep.

— Alix Glickman ’23

In previous years, I always found the test to be a burden and painfully sat through the three hour test wishing for it to be over. However, this year, not only did I prepare myself more for the PSAT, but so did my teachers. This year both my math and English teachers tried to familiarize the class to the best of their capability with the type of content that would be on the test. This helps students perform to their utmost capability, and make them feel confident that they received the most accurate score.

Recently, I have begun my college process and one of the components that the SAT tutors ask for is your grade 10 PSAT scores. It was incredibly convenient to have already taken it, as the school provides testing for us and emails the student body when scores are ready allowing for easy access to the results. This allows students to submit their scores to a college tutor with ease. The advantage of having already taken the PSAT at school didn’t stop there, it also provides a benchmark for what areas of improvement one would need to work on before taking the real exam.

We are incredibly fortunate to have the school provide a free of charge practice SAT for us, otherwise we would have to pay for them ourselves. A PSAT can cost approximately $50 which can be difficult for some students to finance, leaving them at a disadvantage. With the school providing testing, all students have the same resources and a more equal chance to receive the most precise results. College tutoring itself is already an immense amount of money, and this little assistance from the school can be life changing for some students.

Taking the PSAT this year was not a new concept, as it is a requirement for eighth graders and even ninth graders. However, taking it prior to sophomore year is a bit unnecessary. There is so much academic growth that develops in two years, and material from middle school and freshman year is not prominent on the grade eleven test. I always felt unprepared taking the PSATs prior to sophomore year, and wondered the reason behind it. To this day, I still do not know the answer to that question. It only adds more pressure on students that can be easily avoided, as scores from eight and ninth grade have no real value on your education.

To conclude, despite the test being extremely long and tedious, the school providing the test is very convenient. The sophomore PSAT is extremely helpful with the start of the college process and preparing for junior year.