It was 6:40 a.m. and my cell phone alarm went off obnoxiously. As I reached over to shut off the alarm, I realized that it was PSAT day.
Juniors all over the country took the PSAT on Wednesday, October 14th. This exam was only the start of a year full of endless standardized testing: the PSAT, the SAT, and the ACT.
How did it feel to take the PSAT as a junior? It is exactly what you have probably heard about the exam: long and treacherous, as well as nerve wrecking, intimidating, and stressful. Not only must you have sharp algebra and geometry skills, but you are also expected to be adept in reading passages and answering critical thinking questions, all under the pressure of a time frame.
With the eyes of the proctor on you and the sound of the ticking from the clock in the classroom, it is probably not a surprise when I tell you that it felt almost impossible to concentrate. And who really wants to take a three-hour test at 8 a.m. when he or she is already on a minimum amount of sleep?
However, although the PSAT was all of these things, I have to admit that I also saw the exam as a much needed wake-up call. The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a standardized test designed as a chance to earn scholarships. However, it can also be viewed as a practice SAT.
Taking the PSAT was almost a push that helped me realize that it is time to start preparing for the SAT. One of the three major aspects colleges look at is the SAT or ACT, after GPA and extracurricular activities.
For some, Junior Year may not be pretty but I am prepared to take on the challenge.
By Christine Jacob ’17, Features Senior Editor