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Talon

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Talon

EYE 2 EYE: Does the PSAT help in college applications?

Reasons to take the PSAT that will benefit you for college

Details as to how taking the PSAT can help students in terms of colleges.

Diya Johny, Business Communications and Manager

You might be thinking, with most schools going test blind, why take the PSAT? Well if you are debating taking the test, here are some reasons why: 

The PSAT can earn you scholarships, help you gain more recognition with colleges and prepare you for the SAT or ACT. College is expensive, so the opportunity for any scholarship is helpful. In addition, taking the PSAT looks good on any resume or application.

Colleges don’t just look at your SAT score, they also can look at your PSAT score from high school.

This helps students because they can start creating a good impression,” said Maria Andrenia Fernandez, a student journalist from the University of Texas. “Getting a good score means staying at the top of colleges’ lists. That score, together with the SAT scores, will be a very important step in any student’s acceptance process.”

The PSAT helps you prepare for the SAT and gives you a practice run before you take the real thing. 

People who are planning on taking the SAT know more frequently now that [the PSAT] is similar to the actual SAT. The test also helps students who want to improve the skills they already have and make progress in the areas that they struggle in,” said Fernandez.

These are some of the reasons that taking the PSAT can be beneficial to students. It is recommended to take the PSAT if available to you. However, it is up to the individual to decide for themselves what is best for their future plans.

High effort, low reward: Taking the PSAT

Why I won’t be taking the PSAT

Anika Ravilla Art Director 

There are numerous promises associated with taking the PSAT, but we should question the true viability and benefits. Beyond the scope of scholarships or extra preparation, the PSAT doesn’t provide much usage towards the admissions application. 

College Board states that they “do not send PSAT/NMSQT scores to colleges. These scores are not intended to be part of college admission decisions”

In fact, using the PSAT as a practice towards the actual SAT almost proves impractical as more than 80% of US colleges don’t require standardized testing. Research shows that test scores are not a good indicator of college readiness and the relationship between GPA and academic potential is more consistent. 

To add, a student might consider taking the PSAT in hopes of earning the National Merit Scholarship. However, given the statistics of actually getting this scholarship, the chances are pretty minimal. 

Out of a pool of roughly 1.5 million juniors taking the PSAT, only 50,000 students qualify. This is roughly equivalent to less than 3% of the test takers. 

The PSAT is marketed as an impactful exam that would improve your chances of getting into college, but in reality, the chances of the PSAT providing many benefits are lower than getting into college itself. 

All things considered, it should be the individual’s choice as to whether or not they choose to submit standardized testing towards their application, let alone take it. There are various reasons as to why someone would or would not take the PSAT. Although it is up to the individual, I don’t think the small chance of benefiting is worth the time and effort to prepare for the exam.

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About the Contributors
Diya Johny
Diya Johny, Business and Communications Manager

Class of 2025

Diya has been part of the Talon staff for 3 years. She has previously served as a Senior Staff Writer and enjoys writing opinion pieces.

Anika Ravilla
Anika Ravilla, Art Director
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