PSAT experience not what some had expected


Sophia Fetouh

PSAT booklet provided by guidance after students apply for the PSAT.

When students sat down for the PSAT on Oct. 12, many said the test felt more like busy work than they has expected. Although expectations by the faculty remained the same for the Oct. 12 administration of the PSAT, study habits and opinions has changed among the student body. As a matter of fact, more students complained about the PSAT.

“[Oct. 12] was going to be a busy day, but one in which students were excited or focused as they know that this test actually has real consequences or benefits for the college career,” Testing Coordinator Rebecca Matoska said.

Matoska said  even though the day had many students scared or anxiety-filled, she knew they were prepared. However, that statement wasn’t exactly true.

“I did not [study for the PSAT],” sophomore Juliet Polito said. “My teachers had this packet that they gave out, but I didn’t really use it much. I just kinda went into it blind.”

Polito said  she wanted to see how hard the PSAT was without wasting time studying and preparing for something that wouldn’t affect her academic career. Junior Taylor Reid didn’t study for a different reason.

“I wanted to see where I was at as a baseline so I know what to study for the SAT in March,” Reid said.

Even when the PSAT score for Reid this year would count towards the NMSQT, she still didn’t feel the need to study. Colleges don’t even receive nor ask for PSAT scores for college admissions. When Reid, Polito, and freshman Zainab Hussain were asked one thing they could say to College Board about something they could change on the PSAT, each of their answers were different.

“Being reliant on fundamental math that we learned 4 or 5 years ago to earn scholarships is a bit ridiculous,” Reid said. “There should be relevant and recent math that we have learned and are continuing to learn as it is more specific and challenging and more likely to determine whether we should be in the running to earn academic scholarships.”

Polito mentioned an entirely different topic, specifically the literature section.

“[College Board] should make the [literature] articles more interesting. Especially to pick articles that students will engage in more while they are reading,” Polito said.

Hussain, however, complained about a topic that many forget about.

“With all of the bubbling in and [bubbling sheets] before you actually take the test, make that shorter,” Hussain said. “There’s no reason for [the bubble sheets] to take an hour long of just bubbling [race and ethnicity].”

Even with the complaints and the loss of care for the PSAT by the student body, Matoska still has hope.

“I think we have students who understand why it matters and come ready to test,” Matoska said. “As with everything we do at West Shore we offer students the best experience possible so that they can perform at the highest level.”

By Sophia Fetouh