Students stress over PSAT and SAT


Pages of the PSAT prep book handed out to students weeks before the practice exam

Hearing the words “PSAT” and “SAT,”  students think of the hours dedicated to taking the standardized tests. Although the PSAT—a practice version of the SAT—is designed to help students when the SAT comes around, stress becomes an issue that should not be necessary when taking the practice test.

Aidan Calvelli wrote a report regarding the PSAT’s and SAT’s that included meaningful information and tips to help students prepare for the standardized tests.

“The PSAT helps students determine what sections of the test they need to work on, what kind of score they could expect on the SAT, what SAT questions will look like, how to manage timing on the test, and how to handle high-pressure situations,” said Calvelli.

The PSAT is there for students to take in order to understand what the real SAT will look like when it comes time to take the standardized test. As for the 2019-2020 school year, the SAT is offered at school on December 7, 2019, and on June 6, 2020.

Furthermore, SAT prep classes are offered to help prepare students for when the test comes around in December and June. The classes are offered in September, but payment is required in order to take the class.

On the other hand, students talk about the stress they carry when faced with the SAT and PSAT. Nyle Hamman, a junior said, “The PSAT puts a lot of pressure on you.”

The time management, questions asked, and worrying about what score they might receive contributes to the amount of stress and pressure put on the students. Although the PSAT is designed to help students, some believe the PSAT should not be taken.

Emma Armstrong, a junior who believes the PSAT should not be required, said,” I think the PSAT is just a waste of time and we could be actually learning something that we need to know during that day.”

Students don’t look forward to the 4 hours of test-taking in their homerooms and would instead rather carry on with their day.  Those 4 hours of taking the PSAT are not meant to test how intelligent you are or if you will get into college, so students should not feel as if it is a life or death situation to achieve a high score.

“They are not meant to be a complete reflection on your academic ability or future success in college. For that reason, you should not stress out about the PSAT at all. The scores are meant to get you acclimated with your strengths and weaknesses; they aren’t intended to crush your confidence and make you overly worried about the SAT,” Calvelli said.

The PSAT is used in order to help students find their strengths and weaknesses, not to stress them out when it comes to the actual SAT. When taking the PSAT, do not stress about it. Look at the test as a check-up of sorts to see where you are and what you can do to improve come the actual SAT.