Everything You Need to Know About the PSAT


Emily Lukovic

Coming up on October 16th, 2021, the PSAT will be offered here at West. To sign up there are flyers around the school with QR codes to scan. The deadline to apply was September 8th. If you have any further questions send an email to your counselor. The PSAT, or Practice Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a multiple-choice standardized test that measures three core areas: critical reading, math, and writing. 

Since the PSAT isn’t mandatory, some students choose not to take it. But taking it has its advantages. One reason to take the PSAT is to prepare for the SAT, which many colleges use for admission.  You can get familiar with the types of questions that are on it and get an idea of what you’re good at and what you need more practice on. It’s also good to take the test in a classroom setting, so you get used to sitting still for four hours and the pressure of time constraints in a familiar environment. If you feel that you need more practice, websites like Khan Academy and the College Readiness College Board offer free SAT/ACT practice. Getting a high score on the real tests will increase your likelihood of getting accepted into the colleges of your choice, so teachers recommend taking the practice. 

Although it is recommended to take the practice SAT, and practice in general for these standardized tests, there is a push for the removal of the SAT and the ACT as mandatory for admittance into colleges in Ohio. Most students feel that teachers don’t prepare them enough for these tests, and the SAT and ACT aren’t accurate representations of how academically successful a student is. Students feel that they have too much concentration on other things, such as their GPA. 

Many staff in Lakota feel the same way.   These “tests add an extra layer of stress on students” as one staff member put it. Because of the above-mentioned comments, some Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale, and Brown will not be requiring the SAT or ACT for the upcoming applications. 

On the other hand, there are benefits of taking (and getting a high score) on these tests. It gives students the opportunity to get scholarships. Also, not writing your SAT score on an application will make admission officers pay more attention to other things on your application like GPA, essays, etc.

If you decide the PSAT is something you want to invest in, here are some things you can do to prepare beforehand: 

  • treat this like the real SAT. 
  • Get at least seven hours of sleep the night before, 
  • eat an energizing breakfast in the morning, 
  • and come to school ready to focus. 

Remember, the more you treat this like the real test, the better idea you will get on how you will do on the SAT. This goes for any standardized test in general, but it’s important not to stress. To anyone taking the PSAT in a month, Good luck!