The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

Grabbing Life by the Horns

Testing Season Begins With The PSAT

Ketut Subiyanto
girl takes a digital test

SAT stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test which is an exam used to gauge a student’s readiness for college. Colleges that require SAT scores in their admissions not only view the student’s readiness but also use the data collected to find a common data point used to compare all applicants. PSAT stands for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, an optional exam that is used to prepare students to take the SAT. Here at Granada High School SAT season has begun as students start to think about their futures and which colleges to apply to. From September 5 to September 18 PSAT registration is available. The PSAT will take place on Thursday, October 26. The PSAT was administered in 1956 by the College Board and has since become a useful tool for colleges all over the world.

Pens, pencils, pencil case, and a ruler on a textbook (Katerina Holmes)

The PSAT is in general optional for all grades but the College Board is aiming to test juniors, who do not have to pay the testing fee (about $16) as the school district covers this grade. For as long as 8 years the PSAT was directed towards sophomores but has recently switched to juniors. Mrs. Watson, a counselor here at Granada High School states “To better align with the PSAT’s we changed it to juniors starting this year because it is a junior-level test.”

Many students in non-mandatory testing grades wonder if taking the PSAT will better their chances of getting a higher score on the SAT, however, Mrs. Watson elaborates, “I would suggest holding off until sophomore year or for sure junior year because there may be content on the test that freshman have not yet learned since it is a junior level test.”

She continues to say that PSAT and SAT scores will not hinder your school grades. Colleges do not look at your PSAT score. You can take the SAT as many times as you want and it is an optional test because depending on the university you are aiming to apply to they may be test-blind or test-optional. Test-blind means the school does not accept SAT scores in applications. Test-optional means you are not required to submit your SAT scores but you can do so voluntarily, and if you do not it will not negatively affect the evaluation of your application.

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If a junior takes the PSAT their score automatically qualifies towards the Nation Merit Scholarship Program. This Scholarship is utilized to recognize high scorers and academic excellence. This scholarship is a national academic competition and depending on the height of your score you can either become a commended student, semifinalist, or (after an additional application) a finalist. The College Board and High School counselors can then evaluate these top scorers which can earn you $2,500 as a winner. This prize money is meant to act as a financial aid to college tuition. Since COVID has devastated the world a majority of colleges in California such as the CSU’s, UC’s, and Cal States no longer accept or require SAT scores for applications or scholarships.

Although most colleges today do not accept or require SAT scores, here at Granada it is still a highly performed exam and can even earn you awards as well as prestigious scholarships that help assist your college tuition. Good luck to all GHS students!

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