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Students reflect on the PSAT

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On October 4, freshmen, sophomores and juniors took the PSAT in their homerooms. The PSAT took about three hours and then students went immediately to fourth period. 

The PSAT is a practice version of the SAT. Students often take the PSAT their sophomore and junior years of high school. It includes four timed sections. The first two sections are reading and writing. The third and fourth sections are math, one with a calculator and one without. 

The PSAT is also known as the NMSQT, the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. If a junior earns a high enough score on their PSAT, they can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. 

Four NC students qualified for the National Merit Scholarship because of their 2022 PSAT scores. Senior Maddie Prible is one of those semifinalists. 

“I’m just excited to have qualified, I hadn’t really thought much of it so it was a great surprise,” Pribble said, “It also looks great for college resumes and I’m planning on applying to some hard schools so hopefully it helps.” 

Despite having qualified for the scholarship, Prible also used the PSAT as preparation for the SAT that she took her junior year. 

“I think the PSAT does prepare juniors because it has a similar structure. Any practice that you can get taking these type tests can help. The actual SAT was less foreign to me because of it,” Prible said. 

Students usually start to take the SAT their junior and senior years of high school. The SAT is broadly used as a college admissions exam so students find importance in preparing for it. Many juniors use the PSAT as a trial run for the SAT, just like Prible did. 

Junior Lainey Deetz took the PSAT at school on October 5, the day after NC’s designated PSAT day, because she was on a field trip for AP Literature. She took the SAT that Saturday, October 7. 

“I think it is important for juniors to take the PSAT because of the scholarship options and because it is good prep for the SAT,” Deetz said, “I technically prepared for the PSAT because I am preparing for the SAT right now so that was my prep.” 

Junior Jack Girton also took the PSAT before fall break. Unlike Deetz, Girton did not prepare for the PSAT but he did use it as practice for the SAT. 

“I think the PSAT is important for juniors to take because they are most likely going to take the actual SAT in a few months, so it is a nice refresher of what the test is going to be like. It helped me understand what concepts are gonna be on the SAT and the variety of topics on it,” Girton said. 

The PSAT had a change in format in the fall of 2023. The PSAT is no longer on paper, it is a digital version. Girton enjoyed the digital version of the PSAT because it was shorter. However, some juniors have mixed feelings about the new test. 

“I don’t really like how the new format was on the computer,” Deetz said, ”I don’t think the digital PSAT prepares juniors as much for the SAT, but it still helps students get used to the format of those types of tests and the shorter reading passages were nice.”

Although the PSAT is an annoyance to some students, many juniors use the PSAT for guidance as they prepare to apply for scholarships and colleges. 

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Anna Grueninger, Entertainment Editor
Anna Grueninger is a junior and has been in NCHS Live! since her sophomore year. She enjoys playing soccer and spending time with her friends and family. 
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