On Wednesday the 15th of October the Sophomores and Juniors of HRVHS had a very interesting day. They were going to take the PSAT. The PSAT is the practice test for taking the SAT, which, while not required to graduate, is a requirement for many colleges. The test is viewed by many students as the most important test they will ever take because it determines the type of colleges they can get into. The test is divided into multiple sections: writing, reading, and mathematics. An essay is included on the SAT but is not present on the PSAT.
As this test is so imperative, preparation for it is something that HRV works on. Prep courses are offered, and in the Pathways to Career success class an online practice SAT is taken. In October however, half a day is spent taking this practice SAT. Teachers all around the school proctor the test, and some have for years, witnessing the many changes the test has endured.
The test is five grueling sections, and punctuated only by the brief breaks. The test asks a large amount of personal information before taking it including your name, your address, and your religious affiliation claiming that this will help recommend a school for you.
Sophomore Cathryn Kellet didn’t enjoy the test, stating, “it was not fun, at all.” She did agree that the test helped saying, “I think it gave me a better understanding of what to expect…so that I can work towards it.” When asked about personal information she said she was fine with them asking: “It didn’t really bother me.” She said it was a productive way to spend a day of school, but felt it was a bit too much at once: “if they maybe had half the test on one day and the other half on the other day.”
Junior Darrian Thomas also took the test. He said, “compared to sophomore year it was easier, I understood a lot more… You have a whole nother year of learning, so it was easier the second time around.” When asked if the PSAT mattered more, or if the additional year of learning was the real asset, Thomas said “it’s [the PSAT] showing you what it’s [the SAT] going to be like, but schoolwork is definitely more of a helping hand in the SAT.” Thomas didn’t like that they asked about his private info, saying, “it’s pretty invasive, I mean last year I gave up my phone number, and I’ve been getting calls from colleges all throughout the year. It’s really awful, I really regret doing that.”
Many students will take the SAT this year, some in the coming month, and some in May. The test lasts longer than the PSAT, having nine sections and an essay. It usually lasts 4-5 hours, with breaks every three sections. Hopefully, this practice test will help those who will be taking the real test in the future.