By Riah Sharma and Mehek Ahmed:
Two hundred sixty six thousand students across New York have recently taken the Preliminary SAT (PSAT). This PSAT was provided to the students for free and utilized as an opportunity to prepare for the SAT. The redesigned PSAT version is thirty five minutes longer than the previous and includes a hundred and thirty nine questions. It corresponds with the new SAT coming out March 5th. The “nation’s largest pre-college assessment” includes reading passages with a higher dependence on non-fiction as well as diagnostic problem solving. Science and History along with Math and English are incorporated in the altered version. Additionally, the PSAT provides students with an opportunity to earn the National Merit Scholarship, which grants them to receive money towards colleges. Students are chosen for these awards based on their abilities, competencies and achievements.
Juniors and sophomores were mandated to take the PSAT in Centereach High School. Both grades believed that the mathematics section which prohibited calculators was the most difficult. A sophomore even stated, “The math section without the calculator was the toughest”. Furthermore, the two grades agreed that the test had inadequate timing. Most of the students interviewed rated the PSAT on a scale of one to ten, ten being the hardest. Many sophomores classified the test to be a six out of ten, while juniors evaluated it to be an eight out of ten. In addition, sophomores preferred to include a writing section as it would boost their scores. On the contrary, juniors dislike the concept of a writing section. A junior argued, “There is no need for a writing section because we already have college essays to write”. Overall, the PSAT proved to be stressful for many test takers. However, they were grateful for the chance to take a college test previously paid for.