The History of the PSAT (And Why We Do It)

Ever since College Board created the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) in 1959, the PSATs have been a big part of a middle and high schooler’s life. The PSAT is a timed test that includes a reading, writing, and math portion of the test, and is used to show us how ready we are to take the SATs. Before making it to the SAT, there are different stages of the PSAT.  In order, it goes, PSAT 8/9, PSAT/NMSQT, and PSAT 10. The PSAT/NMSQT is a special part of the PSAT, called the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. This test is a great way for high achieving students to shine for colleges and show that they are worth a scholarship. Although it is a great accomplishment many do not accomplish it. According to College Board, out of 2 million test-takers, only 75,000 will be chosen to receive the scholarship. So why do it? That is a common question among students who take the PSAT. Some students say they take the PSAT as a show of their skill or a way to see where they need to improve. On the other hand, many will say they take it because they have to.

Many find it quite stressful and do not understand why year after year students are forced to take it. They see it as a waste of time for the already tight schedules of high schoolers. What is even worse is waiting for the PSAT scores. Students are constantly agonizing over if they did better or worse than they had wanted, which adds unnecessary stress to their lives. It is important to remember that at the end of the day this is a practice test and you will be okay if you have a bad test day. What is also important to remember is to learn from any failures or mishaps you go through and learn from them so next year you can do better and better until the SAT. 

Writer at The City Voice

Hello, my name is Nick. This is my 3rd year at City and I am excited as ever to begin the new school year. This is my first year at The City Voice and I look forward to joining the school family that is The City Voice Paper.

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