Amador annual PSAT will be offered to juniors in January


Senyi Yang

Many juniors spend a lot of time studying for the SATs because of their heavy weight in determining college eligibility.

Senyi Yang, Segments Editor

As of Wednesday, September 9th, the October 2020 PSAT has been moved to January 2021 (tentatively), and it has been restricted to juniors only. This has been done to slow the spread of the coronavirus and to hopefully make a safer environment for students. 

The test is widely used as a way for students to judge their abilities on the normal SAT. Students who have missed out on PSAT practice opportunities may have not been as prepared to take the SAT. 

“I think the PSAT helped me get a feeling for what the real test would be like and is valuable for practice,” said Andrew Tambunting (‘21). 

The PSAT is also far more cost effective than retaking the SAT: the PSAT is only sixteen dollars, while the SAT costs at least fifty to sixty five dollars, even more if you include add-ons such as the question and answer service.

 There was already a debate whether or not to allow freshmen or sophomores to take the PSAT (freshmen were previously allowed to take the test, but that rule was recently revoked).

“It would be good for the school to allow sophomores to take the PSAT as it gives them the ability to understand what concepts they need to study and whether or not they have learned them yet so they are prepared when they wind up taking the actual test if they choose to,” said Jack McDowell (‘23).

Although UCs are not considering standardized test scores for admissions in 2020 and 2021, the PSAT is frequently used to qualify for the national merit scholarships. Only about eight thousand people earn one of these scholarships, and students can qualify by scoring in the top one percent of the PSAT. 

Juniors uninterested in taking the PSAT to qualify for scholarships have little incentive to take it because the actual SAT might occur around the same time. 

Only adding to the complexity is the COVID-19 pandemic. Many also believe that the SATs will be cancelled this year due to the spiking of coronavirus cases in the last month or so. 

“Students should just wait to take the test during their junior year rather than their sophomore year during COVID-19 given that it is an entire year of studying that we can use to prepare and achieve a higher score, especially with scholarships available. I think they made a good call on this decision,” said McDowell.

The coronavirus has completely shaken up the education process and turned it on its head. The end result is a school year none of us have experienced before and people may just have to go with the flow as it progresses.