After taking the new PSAT at school on Wednesday, students formed opinions about what they liked and disliked about the test. Many students seemingly came to similar conclusions, while others deviated from the common reactions and developed unique perspectives.
This year, the test was administered in the middle of the week, while it is usually administered on a Saturday. According to the College Board, Saturday testing will return in the 2016-17 school year.
Some students found the PSAT helpful and beneficial for practicing test-taking skills and gaining insight about the SAT. Others pointed out their concerns with the test and overall found it insignificant.
The PSAT is designed to help students practice and prepare for the SAT. As of March 5, 2016, a new SAT will be administered to students.
According to the College Board, the new SAT “will be more focused on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education” than the old one. It will require students to go more in depth when answering questions instead of simply “memorizing words and facts.”
Sophomore Bri Coupart took the PSAT because she wanted to “get a feel for how the [SAT] is” before she takes it next year.
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She thinks that the new SAT is a step in the right direction and that “it’s better than it was before.”
However, Coupart felt that there were some issues with the PSAT, the main one being the amount of time allotted for each of the three sections: Critical Reading, Writing and Math.
“I think the timing was a big issue […] because I know there were some kids in my class that need a lot of time, including me. There’d be 10 minutes left and I’d have 20 more questions to go.”
Junior Alex Cohen partially agrees. “For the first two sections, I think there was enough time. But for the math sections, they were horrible. There was not enough time.”
Before students began the test, they followed detailed instructions on how to fill out a bubble sheet with personal information that is used by the College Board. This task was time-consuming and “really irritating,” Cohen said.
Despite these challenges, Coupart feels that the PSAT prepared her for the real SAT, but Cohen and junior Dylan Davies feel otherwise. “It just made me feel bad because it was kind of difficult,” Davies said.
In between sections, students were allowed to take five-minute breaks and have a snack.
“They went by fast, but the breaks were fine. I liked it,” Coupart said.
Both Coupart and Cohen agree that if there was anything they wish they’d done before taking the PSAT, they would have studied more.
“If I reviewed math, more like geometry and stuff, then I think that would’ve been better,” Cohen said.
Featured Photo Credit: Carrie Coonan/The Foothill Dragon Press