College Board's Meme War on PSAT Memes

This article is about a phenomenon that’s just as confusing as it is fascinating. Chances are that at some point in your life you’ve laughed about a meme you saw on the internet, maybe you’ve even created one of your own. The same is true for most high schoolers today, and so when it gets to be the time of year when every 9th-11th grader has to take the PSAT or SAT the natural instinct for many is to share memes about it. This is the story of how the College Board corporation decided that the best way to prevent PSAT memes was to share more PSAT memes.

It all started in 2014, when a subreddit called r/teenagers reacted to the warning that they had seen at the bottom of each PSAT page with open defiance. They made a point of discussing the PSAT online, and soon the rebel movement had spread its way to social media, particularly Twitter. The platform was flooded with Tweets about the test, and College Board soon cracked down.

Alas, scolding messages from @CollegeBoard did little to convince anyone to stop sharing PSAT memes. So College Board developed a new strategy. They would talk to the students in their own language, the language of memes. The results are entertaining, at the very least.

Fun and memes aside, there are serious consequences to sharing test questions online. As College Board explained, doing so could cause your test scores to be cancelled. Since the PSAT and SAT can only be taken in supervised test sessions, a score cancellation could seriously jeopardize your college applications. To be clear, while we might enjoy PSAT memes as an audience the City Voice does not endorse the creation of PSAT memes or the disclosure of test information. With many of us sheltering in place, now is the perfect opportunity to go back and appreciate some of last year’s PSAT memes in preparation for this year’s test. As long as the PSAT isn’t canceled as well.



Former Editor in Chief of The City Voice, finally graduated City High Middle School as part of the Class of 2022.