Sophomores, juniors to take PSAT on Oct. 11

Test results provide SAT insights, counselor says


Annika Garwood

Students attend a PSAT information meeting in the Welch Activity Center. Counselors provided information to help test-takers prepare for the Oct. 11 PSAT.

Annika Garwood , Reporter

As the first quarter comes to a close, sophomores and juniors will take the PSAT on Oct. 11 while freshmen participate in their first retreat.

“The PSAT is kind of a practice SAT, so when the students take it sophomore year, it gives you an indication of where you might be score wise on the SAT when you take it junior year for college purposes,” said Ms. Kathy Pivonka, college counselor and counseling director.

She said that while the junior year PSAT doesn’t really directly impact college admissions because scores are not forwarded to college admissions offices, it does quality juniors for National Merit scholarships. “It’s the one criteria that can determine National Merit, and that’s top half of top 1 percent,” Pivonka said.

Students should take the PSAT seriously, according to Pivonka, because “it’s a driving point in a conversation about what colleges to look at. And it’s just good practice before the actual test.”

Junior Katie Carr said that she thinks it helps prepare students for the actual SAT. Carr said that there’s more pressure now that she’s taking the PSAT as a junior. “Sophomore year you kind of take it without warning so it’s not stressful, but it is stressful now as a junior knowing that we have to get into college.”

Sophomore Nyah Conway said that she’s glad students get the opportunity to take the PSAT two years in a row. “You don’t feel a lot of stress when you go and take it the first time, but next year we should all be more prepared on what the test is like.”

The best way for students to approach the test, according to Pivonka, is to use the practice book given out at the information meetings.

She said, “I think if students use their practice books getting used to the questions and how they’re formatted, then get a good night’s sleep, eat a good breakfast and go to bed early, you should be the most prepared. All we ask is for three hours of good test taking and your full attention, then you get the rest of the day off.”

An email has been sent to all sophomores and juniors letting them know where to report for the PSAT on Oct. 11. Room assignments also will be posted that morning at the Kelly student entrance and in Loretto. Students should arrive to their testing room no later than 7:45 a.m. and bring several Number-2 wooden (not mechanical) pencils and an acceptable calculator.