The Stress of the Dreaded PSATs

Tensions and anxiety were at an all time high for many sophomores and juniors on October 14th. It was test day. Three hours of nonstop questions ranging from reading comprehension to grammar to math. What test did the students take, you ask? The PSATs. To be more precise, the PSATs in the new format. Many juniors and sophomores know this already, but if you're not in the loop, the SATs are changing the format of their tests starting 2016. Students were offered to take the PSATs at a cost of $30 so that they could get a feel for what the test is now going to be like. I was one of the many students who took it, and it was STRENUOUS. After taking the test, I felt that my brain could barely function on its own. Try doing 100+ questions of math and then going to your g-block class, which happens to be

Precalculus: that’s what happened to me. I was not the only one who felt this way about the test. I asked some fellow juniors and sophomores about how they felt about the test as a whole. One student said, “[It was] exhausting but not actually that bad. It’s just stupid that we’re expected to take 3-hour long standardized tests an hour after we wake up with around seven-minute breaks and no time to warm up.” One sophomore angrily stated, “The fact that the variety of the questions was almost nonexistent didn’t help anyone. Perhaps if we had spent less time writing every snippet of personal information they could get their hands on and more time prepping for the actual test, some of us may have actually excelled.” Many students agreed that the lack of time and variety of the questions were major

downsides of the test. A junior bellowed, “If there was one more question about “effect” vs “affect”, I was going to light my test on fire.” The overall response from students were very negative. One thing that was almost unanimous in terms of opinions amongst the students was the test itself was not very difficult. It was the types of questions and time constraints that made many students stressed. After all was said and done though, everyone seemed to be back to normal the next day. It was just another test that we took and then it was done. All there is to do now is wait for the results, which may or may not determine whether or not you need to hardcore study for the next three to four months before the actual SATs by getting that huge practice book at your local Barnes and Noble. Not worried AT ALL.

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Christine Lee

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