A PSAT Afterthought – What of that “intended major” bubble?

Last year, I decided that the hardest thing about taking the PSAT was filling out the student information sheet. You know, where you put in your name, school, etc. This may seem rather strange if you’ve never taken the PSAT, particularly since my score left a fair bit of room for improvement. However, if you have taken the test, as all sophomores at my school are required to, you might recall that the information sheet is long, exceptionally complex, covered in long columns of bubbles.
Additionally, there is an entire sheet of codes for your “intended major.” I found this confusing, as I thought that most, if not all colleges do not require that you declare a major right away, or even in your first year. And the majors aren’t broad or general, like “math” or even “biology;” they are highly specific, like “biomedical engineering” and “applied cognitive psychology.” I don’t know even one high school junior who knows, to that degree of precision, what they want to major in. Some know exactly what they want to do for a living, but most of us haven’t been contemplating since kindergarten what our intended major is. A friend of mine just wrote a random code on hers last year. As it turns out, she claimed she wants to major in “advanced choral technique.”
So, I asked around and did my research on how much your intended major actually matters. Apparently, not much. Colleges seem to understand that a typical high school junior does not understand these things. It does help admissions offices know who to send their annoying but often helpful emails to, and what sort of things they might tell you in these emails. But they aren’t going to reject you because when you were sixteen you said you wanted to major in applied cognitive psychology and now you want to major in research cognitive psychology.
So if you accidentally claimed to want to major in fencing, you can rest easy. It’s not the end of the world. The bigger deal is, y’know, your actual scores. Your scores reserve the right to be the end of the world (kidding).

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