Juniors Need Their PSAT Scores Sooner

By Antonio Caceres, Staff Writer

The SAT, along with the ACT, is one of the most crucial elements of a college application. It is also one of the most dreaded: another stressful hoop to jump through on the path to higher education. The SAT in some cases can even make the difference between acceptance or rejection from a university. Quartz Hill High School graciously provides their students with the PSAT, free of charge. It is a valuable gift for underclassmen, but many juniors have not found the test to be as helpful as they thought.  

The PSAT gives people a chance to get a greater understanding of what the actual SAT is like. It familiarizes students with the timing and overall essense of the test. College Board, the organization that administers the PSAT, also grades and returns results to their respective test-takers. These results are then given to students’ College Board online accounts which provide calibrated practice questions to better prepare people for tests. 

Underclassmen can use the information provided to them about their tests, in order to better prepare for whenever they decide to take the SAT. However, these results are not as useful to juniors who are usually already preparing for the actual test on their own. Scores are released during December, more than two months after the actual test was taken. These two months could have been better spent by juniors studying for the SAT with the help provided by their PSAT results.  

The December SAT test is often the first one taken by many juniors hoping to get a jump start on their college applications. They are disadvantaged when they have to prepare for the test with nothing more than their PSAT results from sophomore year and a test prep course or book.  

College Board should recognize the urgency faced by many juniors and release their test scores sooner than everyone else’s. Juniors should have priority when it comes to grading the PSAT as the results of the test are drastically more crucial to them than the underclassmen. This change shouldn’t be a difficult one to implement. In fact, it might make grading of all tests easier by giving the College Board a timed plan on the release of scores. Why it takes months for a rich and powerful organization to grade tests that are all multiple choice is a complete mystery. This is the same organization who claims to work for the sole benefit of students all across America. They could demonstrate their commitment to students by releasing the PSAT scores of juniors immediately after they are graded.