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The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


PSAT is officially held online for the first time

Yatin Bayya
Over 300 students took the PSAT 10, which is the first PSAT to be offered digitally.

Amador administered the 2023 PSAT digitally for the first time on Oct 18 and 24. It introduces students to the new question formats, shorter test, and online interface as the SAT becomes fully online starting next year.

While still on the 1600 scale, the SAT is now shorter— at just two hours instead of three. Long passages became paragraph based questions, and there’s a built-in graphing calculator for the entire math section. Students will also still have access to scratch paper provided by the school.

“I took [the PSAT] just for practice for the actual [SAT] so I could just know what it was like. It was easier than I expected, and I think the math part is a little bit tougher than the English part,” said PSAT 10 taker Devon Price (‘26).

The digital test is adaptive, so the question difficulty will vary based on your performance in previous models. College Board claims tests are more secure this way because it is impossible for students to share answers.

“Just like the conventional one, this was timed. But I would say that the test has generally gotten different because the format in this test was administered in and the adaptive algorithms controlling the question difficulties is completely new,” said PSAT/NMSQT taker Dhanvanth Rajesh (‘25).

Although students could bring their personal device, the school highly recommended bringing their school-issued Chromebook, as technical support would not be provided otherwise.

“Whenever you go digital, tech issues are always going to be a concern. Thankfully, our district has a very strong and responsive tech team, so they cna send staff members to help us make sure wifi is running, Chromebooks are up-to-date, and the Bluebook apps are working. It’s smoother because it’s easier for the kids to do the work, answer the questions, and for College Board to grade,” said test coordinator Akhil Raman.

What goes in the setup?

Districts and schools can register for as many test days as needed from Oct 2nd to the 31st. Before the test, Raman setups accounts on TotalRegistration for families to pay for the PSAT and then he uses College Board to register students, order tests, and get proctors and room monitors.

“A lot of them are substitutes that have been in the district for a while, so a lot of the kids during the testing probably recognize the proctors and monitors. I assign them roles during the testing day, and they are the ones pretty much running the test on the day, and I was more just supporting them if they need anything, so there’s a lot of moving parts,” said Raman.

With a Girls Volleyball game in the large gym the day before, the PSAT setup could only start after. Preparations had to be fast, but also meticulous. College Board has strict guidelines for desk placements, facing the same direction and at least three feet apart.

“We had to wait until 9:00 to set up, and since there was only me, Mr. Pratt, and the six custodians, we didn’t get done until 11:15, and then we went home. But on the second testing day, we had to wait until the Tri-Valley ROP College Fair was over, but since we had 30 additional volunteers, we got everything done in an hour,” said Raman.

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