Photo courtesy of www.lancasterisd.org
The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) is arriving at Eagan High School this Wednesday and Saturday, and students are busy studying. Whether they are working towards a qualification for the National Merit Scholarship or just extra preparation for any other standardized tests, juniors and sophomores are hard at work.
Jolaine Haider of the EHS counseling office is in charge of the actual testing at our school and was happy to further explain the process. “The PSAT this year is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Competition,” Haider elaborates. “So the juniors that take it this weekend will hear back about it [their scores] in their senior year; it takes that long.”
The students that receive the National Merit Scholarship is an extremely elite group- only five seniors from Eagan this year were given the semi-final nomination. In order to receive the nomination a student must earn a certain number of points, though that number changes every year. “They need to make sure they only get the top top students,” Haider says. For sophomores, however, it is just a great way to prepare themselves for the many years of testing to come, since they do not yet qualify for a National Merit Scholarship nomination.
Even without planning on taking specifically the SAT, students will benefit from the PSAT. “Most of our students actually take the ACT,” Ms. Haider continues. “But I think it’s great general test prep, whether you’re taking the SAT or the ACT or any other standardized test.” It’s also a great way to practice taking a timed test in that environment. “Hopefully,” she smiles, “the higher your score is on the PSAT, the higher it will be on everything else.”