Padua Students Experience the PSAT


Photograph from McElroy Tutoring.

Stella W. '19, Writer

On October 11th, freshmen, sophomores, and juniors came to Padua to take this year’s PSAT. Administered by the College Board, students across the country challenge their standardized testing skills as they attempt a practice version of the SAT test. While settling down for two hours and 45 minutes may not sound like the ideal way to spend your day, the PSAT is required for all Padua students and an important step to preparing for the actual SAT. Students have mixed reactions to the test every year, citing dismay over not only hand cramps, but difficult fill-in math sections, the lengthy passages, and a multitude of other gripes. However, scores generally go up considerably from a Padua student’s first time taking the test to their final attempt in junior year.

“It gives you a good glimpse of what the real SAT is,” says Lexie Weinkopff, a junior. “This time around, I was less stressed and happier about the way it went.” This was Lexie’s last experience with the PSAT—as a junior, her next step will be taking the real SAT. “It’s definitely a lot easier by the time you hit junior year,” says Catherine Wiest.

For sophomores, this year was their second experience with the exam, and for many, a much better one compared to freshman year. “It was easier than last year because you’ve learned more so you’re going to understand it more,” says sophomore Julianna Johnson. “It’s definitely worth it because it helps you prepare for the SAT.”

Freshmen had their first experience with the PSAT. Many schools do not require freshmen to take the PSAT, so Padua students get an extra year to get their bearings. “It was okay,” says freshman Marin Krenzel. “It was pretty normal testing, I felt prepared.” For many, it was their first experience with College Board testing, and their experiences reflected this. “The math was difficult,” says Sarah Barrosse-Antle. However, freshmen still have two more years to take the PSAT, making this year a good time to practice without being stressed.

While many students may not be overjoyed walking into school on PSAT day, the SAT is a fact of life for high school students, and this extra practice is valued by many. Throughout their high school careers, students often see their score improve as they gain a greater understanding of math and reading analysis concepts, ultimately contributing to their success in the SAT.