For the first time in ETHS history, freshmen will be required to take the PSAT April 9 as a direct result of the state changing its SAT testing requirements.
“It’s required of all high schools in Illinois this year, otherwise it would have to be funded individually by school, and this year the state is paying for it for all schools,” Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Peter Bavis said.
In previous years, juniors would take the ACT test. Sophomores used to take the PLANNED test and eighth graders took the EXPLORE test, as a way to prepare for ACT testing.
Now, since it is a graduation requirement for juniors to take the SAT, the PSAT 8/9 and PSAT 10 are administered to be aligned to that test.
“You’ll be able to project out what your SAT score will be, you’ll get an assessment of your strengths and challenges, what you need to work on,” Bavis said. “We want students to get accustomed to taking those kind of tests and those test situations.”
Although the test is required for all freshman to take, concerns were made about whether ETHS had provided enough information about the test.
“I was aware from an email, but I feel like they didn’t provide enough information because a lot of people don’t know about it,” freshman Nadia Van Den Berg said. “They didn’t tell me if I need to prepare or anything so I don’t know what I should do.”
Junior Ciara Connell wished she had been offered the opportunity to take the PSAT when she was a freshman, “When I came in to take the PSAT 10 I was so nervous and I feel like getting that extra practice before taking the SAT would be really helpful, especially since you could eventually get scholarships, like the National Merit Scholarship.”
A concern that students shared was the possibility that the test could bring more stress on to students, as the test is three hours long and there are four tedious sections.
“I feel like [freshmen] are not ready for [the PSAT],”sophomore George Hannah said. “It’s their first year and that’s not something they want to have… to do.”
The test will be conducted on a Tuesday and is built into the ETHS instructional calendar, so no extra days will be added on to the school year. Seniors will have the day off, as grades 9-11 will all have testing on April 9.