A Last Minute Post on the PSAT

Seriously though, the ASVAB tests accuracy and speed not depth
The best thing about schools is sometimes, they find themselves a sense of humor. It doesn’t happen often, but when they do, it’s almost always laugh-out-loud hilarious.
For example, the typical procedure for PSAT testing is that if you want to man up and take it, go ahead. Or, you can sleep in until ELEVEN O’CLOCK. Seriously. Who would take it under those circumstances (me, but that’s beside the point)? Nobody, that’s who. So this year, the district decided it would be fun to watch some juniors cry tears of despair and utter exhaustion, and make all of them test. Except, they didn’t have the funds to make PSAT testing required. So they needed a creative solution to the issue, and boy, did they find one.
Now, all juniors are, in fact, required to test. But if you don’t sign up for the PSAT, you are automatically required to take another test (AMSELM, AMSLOL, or something?). Specifically, the US military aptitude test. In other words: “Take the PSAT, or have fun at boot camp, kiddos.” Granted, it makes sense to offer the test for those students who are interested in going into the military. There’s plenty of them, and they deserve the same benefits as the college-bound. But it seems a little silly that the test would be required of all students not taking the PSAT.
In either case, I’m definitely taking the PSAT, much as I would like to see what the military aptitude test looks like. Would they have questions about flying planes or shooting people or civil service or laws? Do they make you do chin-ups, the anathema of all sixth grade PE students? Is there an angry drill instructor that shows up and yells until the tiny kid at the end of the line wets his pants? Or is it just a boring test?
Which, of course, brings me to PSAT preparation. Apparently, it’s not like TAKS, where you just write words somewhere in the blank or fill in a nonzero amount of bubbles and hope for the best (at least, that’s what I always do). The PSAT is a pretty big deal, since apparently all your scholarship money hinges on that neat little test.
The degree of freaking out seems to vary between the many groups of the school. Most of the ones who care about these things are either completely self-assured and ready to go, or one step away from a mental breakdown. Everyone else seems to be disappointed that the 11:00 sleep in option isn’t still available. In any case, it should encourage more kids to take the PSAT, which is a good thing. If your school is planning on requiring all juniors to take a test on PSAT day, I have to throw in a recommendation for the PSAT. It can give you an idea for how your SAT scores might look, and again, scholarships abound if you can score especially highly. If you’re interested in the PSAT and want to find more about why you might want to take the test, check out “A Brief History of the PSAT/NMSQT”.

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