Are PSATs important?

Students give their opinions on PSATs

Daniel Duong, Staff Writer

The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, or PSAT for short, is an exam given to more than 3.4 million high school students, and it is a practice test for the actual SAT which is used for college admissions. The PSAT test was given on Oct. 30 and sophomores were required to take it, while the PSAT remained as an option to juniors.

Generally, it is recommended to take the PSATs in preparation for the SAT tests. Although, the PSAT has no effect on college admissions or your GPA, taking the PSATs can increase your chances of getting a high-score in the actual test. Also, PSAT scores are used to identify National Merit Scholars and award merit scholarships.

While Manassas City Public Schools state that Osbourn Highschool sophomores are required to take the PSAT, the majority of other high schools in the United States do not have that requirement. 

“I think the PSAT should be a requirement for sophomores and juniors,” said sophomore Karen Romero Lucero, “you’ll have an understanding of what the PSAT is like and you’ll be able to say, I took it and I know what it is.”

However, junior Gavin Shipman who did not take the PSAT this year does not believe that the PSAT should be required.

“You can take the actual SAT as many times as you want,” Shipman said. He does believe, however, that the PSAT is important. 

Regardless if it should be mandatory for all U.S. high schools, taking the PSAT sophomore year and junior year, as well, can really improve your score in the actual SAT. 

“Personally for me, I was not ready for it because the PSAT had questions that have not been introduced to me,” Romero said. 

The PSAT does in-fact present questions from certain classes (English, Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry) that some sophomores do not have access to, yet. 

“When taking the PSAT, read through every question carefully,” Shipman said. Reading through every question carefully is a useful test-taking strategy. Skimming through it will most likely result in failure.

Stated earlier, the PSAT does not affect your GPA or college admissions but it is a qualifier for the National Merit Scholarship Program. The PSAT is just as important as the SAT because the PSAT acts as a guidepost and will indicate where you will roughly score on the SAT. 

PSAT testing for Osbourn High school sophomores and juniors occurred Oct. 30.