Please Stop Administering the Test: Sophomores and Juniors take the PSATs



On Wednesday, October 10th from nine to noon, you could find every sophomore and junior hunched over a tiny desk inside a hot and stuffy gym taking the PSAT.

For three hours, we grappled with passages about internships, different forms of science, and presidential speeches. In two months we will receive our scores, which will be another piece of information that will take us one step further into the college process and our futures.   

So, what is the PSAT anyway? The College Board requires most students in the country take this exam. For some it is an exam Poly requires students to take that mocks the real SAT. For others it is hell.  

For the sophomores, it is an opportunity to have an experience similar to the SAT, and see how they feel about it and how they do on it. This way, they can decide whether they will take the SAT or ACT, and they have a starting point for studying.

For the juniors, it is another opportunity to practice for the SAT, but most importantly, if your score is in the top 1% you can be a National Merit Scholar.

Now for a few grievances about the process.

The desks provided for these exams are a rare species. I personally would not call them desks. Perhaps a more fitting term would be a glorified chair attached to a stump of wood.

In our regular classes, we enjoy full, luxurious desks that extend the full width of our chair. Why, you may wonder, when we appear in the gym on a standardized testing day, are we faced with rows and rows of half-desks? Was the desk factory on a wood ration? Do they enjoy watching us juggle an answer sheet, a test booklet, pencils, and sometimes a calculator on this measly surface, while strictly instructing us to make sure to lay everything flat upon our desks? The answer to this is unclear.  

Another notable aspect of this exam, of course, is the memes. Minutes after the end of the test, the internet is scattered with countless memes referring to the absurd aspects of the passages.  

These memes are highly illegal, as the College Board specifically instructs students not to talk about the content of the test especially online. However, they are hilarious.  

For three hours we all struggle with the most random and poorly written passages with questions designed with the sole purpose of confusing us. So, naturally, it is very comforting to be able to relate to our classmates and people all over the country about this struggle.