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Post PSAT: Words of Advice for Upcoming Juniors

By Fatima Naysa

On October 18, NHP Memorial’s current juniors took the new digital PSAT administered through College Board’s Bluebook app. As the first class to face the digital testing platform, the juniors were exposed to a variety of new features including an annotation tool, an option eliminator and a built-in calculator. Moreover, they were tested on subjects uncommon to the standardized testing world such as making inferences based on passages, forming a rhetorical synthesis and emphasizing data analysis. These differences led to mixed reviews from the juniors.

I found it a little harder to focus on the digital version because I'm so used to taking standardized tests on paper,” junior Suha Tasfia said. “However, the test had a timer right above the entire time and would give you a notification when you had 5 minutes left, which helped with pacing versus having to check your watch or rely on the proctors in other tests.” 

“Overall, the test taking experience wasn't bad at all,” junior Aaron Koshy said. “It's definitely a nice prelude for what is to come in the future and I believe the College Board made the experience for first rounders like me feel good.” 

Source by Guneet Hanjra

College Board embraces a new structure of questions with the new digital PSAT.

To get familiar with the test, juniors and teachers emphasize the need to practice with tools provided by the school and by the College Board.

“I would suggest playing around with the app in order to familiarize yourself with the format,” junior Katelyn Vadakkan said. “You should take the practice tests that are provided in the Bluebook app to familiarize yourself with the various topics and functions.” 

“Prepare– there are plenty of practice resources available including Khan Academy, Methodize through Castle Learning, College Board and outside agencies to help prepare students for upcoming exams,” chairperson of counseling Ms. Pesce said. “Our district has partnered with Curvebreakers to offer SAT preparation for the March exam. The classes will be offered at NHP on Mondays and Wednesdays from January 31 to March 6 and students are encouraged to register.” 

Along with their emphasis on preparation, upperclassmen also note the importance of not over-exerting or stressing out; it’s equally important to have balance.

“I think the importance of 8-9 hours of rest and a good breakfast cannot be overstated,” junior Clayton Yu said. “After a certain point, you start to hinder yourself by choosing to cram information instead of having a good night's sleep. I find that the less my mind is focused on other things (trying to stay awake, thinking about eating, etc.), the easier it is to do well on the test.”

“Remember that a test score does not define you,” senior Sania Daniyal said. “It’s important to work hard but not lament over a missed question or unfavorable score. Staying motivated requires you to learn but also take breaks. Don’t overwork yourself and remember that it’s just a test. When you apply to college, the admissions office views your cumulative application, and a Standardized Test score is just one part of the application process.”


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