On Oct. 10, sophomores and juniors across America spent two and a half hours taking the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT). Although being a practice test for the SAT, the PSAT quantifies itself by awarding the chance to join the National Merit Scholarship Program which can be done by scoring in a high percentile in relation to the rest of their state. Being included in the National Merit Scholarship Program is seen as advantageous when applying to colleges. The PSAT, however, is not actually included in college applications. However, Pinewood and many schools like to include sophomores to the PSAT in order for them to experience the standardized testing entirement. Furthermore, it would be expected that sophomores would be less stressed out about the PSAT’s than the juniors which does seem to be the case.

  Sophomore Courtni Thompson did not prepare for the practice test but was stressed out. Thompson “wanted to do well but wouldn’t be too mad if [she] failed cause it’s just practice.”

  This opinion is most likely applicable to many other sophomores as the practice does not really matter; however, some of the juniors had a surprisingly similar response.

  Junior Ryder Heit did not prepare either and was not worried about the real PSAT but still “wanted to do well for [his] own sense of pride.”

  However, Junior Miranda Wiener worried over the PSAT and tried to prepare for it. Wiener “realized that this was a reflection of where [she] [is] now.”

  In contrast to Wiener, Heit represents a part of the population that does not particularly care for the National Merit Scholarship Program. As with many other subjects, there are two sides to the argument. Achieving National Merit has its perks. The National Merit Scholarship Program would look good on a college application. Although qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship is an honor, the SAT is much more important when it comes to college applications. Overall, the PSAT is a good way to practice for the SAT and achieve a status that could help in the future.