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Canyon Echoes

The Student News Site of Canyon Vista Middle School

Canyon Echoes

The Student News Site of Canyon Vista Middle School

Canyon Echoes

PSAT and its Opinions

Valerie Berry

For the first four periods on October 11, 8th graders took the PSAT which helps students prepare for the SAT.

The test the students took is the PSAT 8/9,for 8th and 9th grade specifically, which helps students, parents and districts assess how ready a student is for college.  Each district has chosen to do the PSAT or not, as it is optional. This is why there are no retakes until high school.

“It is looked at as a way to measure college and career readiness,” Angela Castro, Assistant Principal in charge of testing, said. “Another measure is CCMR, college and career readiness, and because at many middle schools, students are taking classes that have high school credit, like all your languages, you know, the CTE [College Technical Education] classes, as well as a couple of other, advanced maths, then we kind of play a role in what that looks like for the district.”

The use of the PSAT 8/9 is to prepare students for future PSATs which prepares them for the SAT. The PSAT also gives a view on how ready the student is for college. College visits and scholarships are also a possible option for students who score high.

“The nice thing about PSAT at the eighth grade level results don’t bear anything, there’s no consequences, it’s just informational. But it gives the district an idea of even starting in middle school how ready are students for college,” Ms. Castro said.

Cameryn Lee (8) took the PSAT and explained their troubles with the test.

“At first I was not concerned about it but later in the first section of it, I did not pace myself and I was interpreting the reading way too much… I think it’s a lot more tough because it’s more stressful and you don’t get four hours [Test length for STAAR], you get like sections, you have modules,” Lee said.

Lee felt the test was a good thing though because it prepared students well.

“I think that it’s good that Round Rock is handing out the PSAT because it’s a practice for like high school because when you get to high school, you don’t just want to take that test, like you stressed about the times that you’re all new to,” Lee said.

Quinn Ewert (8) felt that due to no consequences for a bad score it was not stressful. Ewert also felt that the PSAT is a great practice test.

“I think it’s like good to practice what you’re gonna be doing in high school,” Ewert said.

Elizabeth Pasternak, 8th grade math teacher, thought 8th grade was too early for the PSAT and that it stressed students out and that they would be more successful in high school but does think in general it is a good test to benchmark college readiness.

“It’s very good for giving a benchmark for how well you’re going to do on the SAT. So it is a good opportunity to get that information,and it also opens up some scholarship opportunities. So I think they should take it. But my preference would be to start in perhaps ninth grade or just wait till 10th and take it one time,” Ms. Pasternak said.

Ms. Pasternak also feels that the PSAT should have been scheduled later at a less stressful time.

“Especially towards the end of the grading period, I would have preferred to keep teaching and maybe perhaps doing it later at the beginning of the next grading period because it’s kind of a stressful time for teachers and students at the end of the first nine weeks,” Ms. Pasternak said.

Manami Sen, 8th grade science teacher, believes the time was well spent.

“This is something that the kids should know and prepare to be more prepared for high school. So I think it was a good thing, good usage of time as a preparation… this is also one of the things that in a school we have time built in for. So I think it was a good usage of time,” Ms. Sen said.

The big difference between STAAR and PSAT is that STAAR is run by Texas and compares students in Texas, while PSAT is run by College Board and compares students in the US. In the classroom the difference is that you get less time to answer questions in the PSAT and have an easier set up.

“So PSAT had a different format this time and it is conducted by College Board. So it works on different parameters but this, this time for me PSAT was like really easy to maneuver like it was very user friendly from a proctor’s perspective,” Ms. Sen said.

In the end PSAT is just a test that benchmarks college readiness. No consequences, just a practice test.

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About the Contributors
Lucas Janssen
Lucas Janssen, Staff
My name is Lucas and I enjoy programming, specifically Python. I also like cooking. My favorite dish to make and eat is sun-dried tomato pasta from Hello Fresh. I enjoy geocaching, biking, and games.
Valerie Berry
Valerie Berry, staffer
Before I tell you about myself please don't get my gender confused I go by They/Them pronouns and my sexuality is Aro/Ace,and pansexual,you will see me in the hallway with both masculine and feminine clothes because I am gender fluid. Other than the news media I love to write and read. If you don't see me in the library or by a tree reading then you can find me in the art room or playing Tennis. You can recognize me in the hall with the way I express myself with brightly colored hair dye or humming a song. WHen seeing me in class I am relatively quiet but get to know me and you will see I have a loud personality and love to know all about you and your thoughts and feelings you always have a say.I love music and have any questions about shows or writing come talk to me, I listen to everything and love animals and anime. Ask me anything about mt allergy to the cold and as about anything to do with my gender I will answer confidently and happy to. I love meeting new people and making friends so don't be shy and stop on by.

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    NikhilNov 17, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Good job Lucas!