Editor in Chief
This Wednesday, the PSAT was taken by the junior class at San Marcos High School. The test measured students critical reading, math problem solving, and writing skills. The PSAT allows students to get an accurate sense of how their performance on the SAT will be. In December, students are mailed a detailed analysis of their scores, allowing them to see the areas in which they most need to improve.
The PSAT also doubles as a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship, an organization which exists “to recognize and honor the academically talented students of the United States.” The NMS Corporation distributes several different types of scholarships to high scoring students. The NMS’ own scholarships give $2,500 towards the student’s freshman year of college. Corporate sponsored merit scholarships are either single payment awards typically ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 or four year renewable awards ranging from $500 to $10,000 a year. The final category contains college sponsored merit scholarships, annually renewable scholarships which can only be collected if you attend the college offering it.
It should also be noted that the test goes for three hours and forty five minutes which, while not as long as the standard SAT, disrupts the regular school schedule considerably. However some faculty members feel that the benefits of a mandatory PSAT outweigh the time taken from the school day.
“Not every student can afford to take a prep class or get coach time,” said teacher and PSAT proctor Luke Ohrn. “If the PSAT was not offered at school, students would have to pay for it and take it on a Saturday. That would exclude many San Marcos students.”
Many students feel the same.
“I think it was worth my time because you get to know how the real SAT is going to be,” said junior Jesus Ochoa. “ It lets you get a first look at [the SAT].”