The PSAT: What is it good for?


Camille Osumah

Ah yes, ‘tis the season of persistent college emails and feelings of inadequacy when comparing your scores to others around you. No but really, for all those sophomores and even juniors in SWHS, don’t let the PSAT get to you. Yeah, it’s important and is indicative of the SAT and yada yada yada. But there’s more than that.

The PSAT is the first standardized test we’ve taken since CMT and SBAC days. It allows you to begin mentally prepare for more testing and the SATs. Many people are embarrassed or disappointed when they receive their scores. Then again, I understand the frustration that can come with standardized testing. Your intelligence shouldn’t, and cannot, be quantified by a score on a screen. Not everyone tests the same or does well in answering the test questions. But really, you have to, have to, get past that. Obsessing over all that wrong with it isn’t going to make the test any easier or improve your scores. My philosophy is that, one: not everything is fair, two: if I have to do something I might as well try, and three: you never know what can happen. Just try your best, work on your weaknesses bit by bit throughout the year, to do well you have to look for the good that the test offers.

For me, last year I was okay with my scores but I knew that I wanted to do better. Instead of moping or completely pushing it all out of my mind. I took my experience and inspiration from the PSAT and began to look into colleges, what I’m looking for in a school, and the application process. I used, spoke to high school seniors, and college kids, I became proactive. In writing this, I just want to encourage you to look for the good that can be found from the PSAT. If you’re embarrassed about you score, then use Khan academy to practice what you got wrong. Read more, look into what happened in the last test, were you tired, confused by the questions, etc. The PSAT can be more useful than you first may think.


Happy Testing!