by Karina Correa | tech editor
With the PSAT and SAT just around the corner on Oct. 13 and Oct. 28, there is some information you might want to know before taking the test.
“The PSAT is practice for the SAT. The SAT is typically what they use to help with your college entrance. This year and last year, most schools did what they call test-optional, which means they’re using more of a holistic review to determine whether or not to accept you into that college. I’m pretty sure that next year probably most schools will go back to requiring the SAT or ACT,” College Career & Military Readiness Specialist Tenley Barrow said.
The PSAT is available to all 9th-11th graders on Oct 13. and on Oct. 28 for seniors who didn’t take it last year.
“We will only have about half of the senior class taking it,” Barrow said. “That is optional. I have a list of kids that didn’t get to take it, and if the students took or didn’t take it last year, but they feel like they don’t need it, or maybe they did it on a Saturday, and they really liked their score, they don’t need to take it, but they do need to let me know about two weeks before the exam.”
Students can get practice at home with PSAT and SAT booklets available in the Welcome Center.
“You can take as many [booklets] as you want,” Barrow said. “Khan Academy is our favorite [practice resource], and the library has some online resources as well. I know Shmoop is a good one. There’s a ton of resources that you can do online.”
Anytime the PSAT or SAT is given at school, the school district will pay for it. There will also be a second opportunity to take the SAT in March if students would like to retake it for a better score.
“[Colleges] prefer something in the 1300 range. You have the choice whether to include those test scores or not. So if you’re between 1100, 1300 range, I would say they are pretty decent,” Barrow said.
Make-ups are not available for the PSAT and SAT, although you can retake the PSAT next year.
“ Let’s say that you get sick with COVID or any kind of sickness and you can’t come to school on the day of the PSAT or SAT, we’re not doing make-ups. For PSAT, if you’re a freshman or sophomore, well, you’re just going to take it again next year anyway. That’s not as big of a deal. The SAT you can take anytime on a Saturday. Of course, you have to pay for it on a Saturday,” Barrow said. “But for my juniors and seniors, if they are going to show up for the SAT this year, whether it be Oct. 28 or that March date, they may have to just take it on a Saturday if they miss it. So it’s not a big deal, you’re not going to be penalized if you don’t take it and of course, it’s free.”
Scores will be available about a month afterward on your College Board account.
“You can go to your college board account and look at the scores and it will give you a great breakdown of how you did in math, the different sections, and it’ll tell you where you scored like percentage-wise, kind of where everybody else was on there,” Barrow said.