Students to see new changes to PSAT

Written by Carson Pyatt, Online Editor in Chief

Beginning in March of 2016, the SAT test will be redesigned. The preparation for this begins with the new PSAT test structure.

On the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 14, many students across the nation will be taking the PSAT test. The alternative testing day is Wednesday, Oct. 28. This is a notable change from previous years, as the test used to be administered on a Saturday. According to their website, The College Board has moved the date of the test to a weekday because they want to avoid students having to find different transportation to get to the testing center. Also, Saturday test dates have presented conflicts in the past, such as certain religious holidays or extracurricular activities being held on the same weekend day. Now, since the PSAT will be administered on a school day, there will be a different schedule put in place. Students not taking the PSAT start school at 11:37 a.m.

The PSAT has been redesigned in order to better mirror the new format of the SAT. On Wednesday, students will sit for two hours and 45 minutes to take the test, which will consist of the same three categories as it always has: reading, math and writing. One important change is the removal of the essay portion of the test. The essay is not part of the PSAT, but will be optional on the redesigned SAT test.

One of the biggest changes (and reliefs) students will see is the doing away with the guessing penalty. While previously there was a 1/4 point deduction for wrong answers, the system is now referred to as “rights-only scoring”: only correctly bubbled in answers will be counted toward the score.

“(The removal of the guessing penalty) is so great,” junior Kira Tucker said. “You can choose all the answers you want to and you won’t get a penalty for it, even if you don’t know the answer.”

Although many students are excited to come to school late and have shorter periods, the PSAT takers will be at school at 7:25 a.m. just like every other day.

“It kind of sucks because the rest of the school gets a short day, and we don’t,” Tucker said. “We have to be there like a normal school day. It’s a Wednesday too, so its supposed to be short but it’s not.”

The PSAT scores will be available in December.