PSAT Fast Approaching

Mariam Tahir, News Editor

October is just around the corner which means the PSAT for many of Eagan’s juniors. Recently, the National Merit Scholarship Program announced its semifinalists, which included ten students from EHS. These students are Elizabeth Bartlett, Arunima Bhattacharya, Bryce Collison, Jonathan David, Lauren Kalina, Lauren Markowski, Benjamin Pankow, Raj Purohit, Rylee Smith, and Rosella Stower. Originally completing the PSAT in October of 2015, they are among the highest-scoring entrants in Minnesota.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

The PSAT is a timed test administered by the College Board. It assesses skills in English, reading, and math. Each year, over 3,000,000 juniors take the exam to prepare for the SAT. The PSAT also opens doors to various scholarships that total to over $180,000,000. “College is expensive and not everyone can have parents pay for it, so I need scholarships,” explains junior Aneesa Siddiqui.

This year, the class of 2018 will take the PSAT on October 19th. Unlike other standardized tests, juniors can only take the PSAT once. Sophomores also have the chance to complete the exam. However, their scores do not count towards scholarships or college acceptance.

There are several ways to study for the PSAT. Taking practice tests is one of the most effective methods. The practice questions help familiarize students with the test material as well as highlight the areas in which they struggle. “A good way to practice is to go over strategies that they think are slow,” clarifies Mrs. Elliott, a math and ACT prep teacher.

A good way to practice is to go over strategies that they think are slow.

— Mrs. Elliott

Students often run out of time on certain sections of the test. Remember to pace yourself. Fill in the bubbles for easy questions first so that you have a higher chance of answering more questions correctly. Another helpful strategy is to find your weaknesses and work towards fixing them for test day.

For those completing the exam, it is your responsibility to bring No. 2 pencils, erasers, an approved calculator, (Is your calculator allowed? Click here to find out) and a school or government issued ID. It is recommended that you do not bring your cell phone or any device that makes noise into the testing room. If the proctors hear any electronic disturbances during the test or break, your scores will be voided.

Good luck to all juniors taking the PSAT in October. Make Eagan proud!