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Students take the new digital PSAT

Image Source: College Board

On Oct. 11, SIS held the new online PSAT, implementing a new testing structure from previous years. The test was mandatory for all sophomores and open to juniors aiming to prepare for the SAT or obtain college scholarship opportunities. 

Specifically, the digital PSAT determines a student’s eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Competition, which can lead to even a full scholarship at a college of choice. For U.S. citizens, however, only the top 1%  are usually awarded with the scholarship. 

Beyond the change of working on an online screen rather than paper, the system has significant changes for test takers. First, the testing time has decreased from 3 hours and 25 minutes (including break) to 2 hours and 14 minutes. Secondly, the tests are divided into two major sections, reading and writing, which are further split into two separate modules, where the latter depends on the performance of the first module. Finally, there is no non-calculator section in math. 

“Compared to last year the test felt significantly shorter,” Ellen Ryu (11), returning PSAT taker, said. “Not only was the digital test simply shorter in length, but there were fewer procedures to take before and after the test. For example, when we were done, we just had to close our computers and leave.”

Still, the PSAT handles familiar content: evidence and logic-based reading writing questions along with problem-solving and data analysis in math. 

“I noticed that the PSAT included basic concepts from geometry and algebra that we’ve learned during our middle school years and freshmen classes,” William Park (10), first-time PSAT taker, said. “Even more, a lot of the reading and writing questions required us to identify themes and main ideas of the text, something students have repetitively practiced.”

Despite all the changes, the PSAT scored out of 1520 with the English section and math section being 760 respectively, scores ranging from 160-760 for each section. Furthermore, there are no penalties for guessing or an incorrect answer. 

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Danny Donghyun Han
Danny Donghyun Han, Reporter
Danny is a junior reporter for Tiger Times. In his leisure time, he enjoys playing different sports like football and basketball, listening to hip-hop, and talking to his friends. Danny is a big fan of the Raptors and hopes to find some other fans of his team.

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