Loyola administered the Preliminary SAT exams, also known as the PSAT, to students on Wednesday, Oct. 11. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors each take their own test: the PSAT 9, the PSAT and the official PSAT/NMSQT, respectively. Counselors Geoffrey Joy and Mike Denison organized the tests for students.
By taking the test in the freshman and sophomore years of high school, students familiarize themselves with the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT.
Freshman John Soza said, “Taking the PSAT informed me about some areas I need to improve in. I now know that I should spend more time [preparing for]the reading and writing sections.”
Joy said, “They are practicing the PSAT in ninth grade, and they are practicing the PSAT in 10th grade. When they get to the real thing, the National Merit Scholarship Competition PSAT and the SAT in 11th grade, they have been through it before.”
According to Joy, the PSAT is important for juniors because, if a student scores well enough, they may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship where top scorers are awarded money to be put towards their college tuition.
Sophomore Conor O’Callahan said, “The practice test helped inform me of the sections that will be most difficult. In general, the math section was fairly straightforward, but the reading comprehension could be quite confusing at times.”
According to Joy, because juniors are given the option of taking the SAT or the ACT, they are given the opportunity to decide which test they would prefer taking based on their experience with the PSAT.
Junior Tristan Silerio said, “The PSAT gave me a feel of what the SAT is like and what I should expect when I actually take it. The PSAT was like a placement test for me because it allowed me to see where and how I should approach different areas of the test.”
Taking the PSAT gives students an introduction and head-start to the college admissions process, as most colleges require either the SAT or the ACT. Taking the practice exam also gives students the opportunity to identify and correct their mistakes before taking the real test.