Eighth grade students took the four hour long PSAT on Oct. 19. Little did they know what benefits would be reaped from the standardized test.
The PSAT offers a wide array of advantages for high school, from getting a head start on what scholarships are available based on a students’ ability, to learning new test-taking skills.
This year, Palm Beach County school administrators paid for 27,000 eighth graders to take the test, in hopes of identifying students who have the potential to take college preparatory classes, according to mypalmbeachpost.com.
The PSAT cost only $10 per student and focused heavily on skills students needed to be proficient in before college, according to collegereadiness.org.
PSAT is short for Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test. Because of its format, students can get a taste of what types of questions will be on the SAT, improving their scores in the long run.
Upon receiving their test scores, students will have access to a personalized Khan Academy class with topics they need to improve on before their tenth grade PSAT, according to khanacademy.com. This is beneficial because the website lays out individual skills that students can practice until they are proficient in them.
Critics of the PSAT may say that it wastes precious class time. Instead of learning benchmarks, students are taking a test that does not count for their grade.
However, this is not the case. Teachers can prepare students for standardized tests by giving them study tips and strategies to help them succeed on tests in any class.
The school district made the PSAT mandatory for all eighth graders. This way, they could receive their percentiles in unison, and have a fair sample of the abilities of other students their age.