Practice Makes Perfect

The PSAT stands for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, but it is usually referred to as a Practice SAT. The PSAT, according to The College Board, “measures skills important for college success and helps students start planning for the future.” Each year the PSAT is offered at Riverbend. The test is only offered twice a year, both in October. This year the dates were Wednesday October 15 and Saturday October 18. The PSAT will be held at Riverbend on Saturday, October 18 at 8:30am.  It costs $14 and dues need to be paid to guidance by September 24. Mrs. Bohnstedt, guidance secretary, said, “If a student knows they cannot make it to the Saturday PSAT in advance, they can schedule it at another local high school. They must come to guidance to schedule it.”

Mrs. Bohnstedt also said, “[The PSAT] is good practice for the SAT. It gives the student an idea of how they would do, and what they should study for the SAT.”   Along with good practice, the PSAT provides opportunities for scholarships, including the National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP).  In order to enter the program, a student must be enrolled as a high school student and be a citizen of the United States (or a lawful resident). According to the official College Board/National Merit Scholarship Corporation Student Guide, “Most of the students who will be entered for the scholarship will be high school juniors planning to go to college in 2016. The NMSP uses the Selection Index scores (sum of critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills score) to determine 50,000 high-scoring participants who qualify for program recognition.” Those 50,000 will be narrowed down to 8,900 Scholarship winners. “The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition among high school students for recognition and college scholarships,” according to the official College Board/National Merit Scholarship Corporation Student Guide.

Students receive score reports in December and a summary of answers and skills in January.