Blessing disguised as a curse: PSAT is necessary for students


Lucas Seguinot

PSAT and PreACT exams are often given out by companies to check student’s progress of growth.

Lucas Seguinot, Lead Features Editor

Even if you don’t like it, the PSAT/PACT is something that we should all do as students. Two days out of the year, students from the sophomore and junior classes are asked to take the PSAT and PACT. The only way students can avoid it is through special exemptions. Currently, with prep classes, I am taking a test every two weeks to track my progress and growth. As someone who has taken the PSAT twice and the PACT once I can tell you it is a bore but there are reasons why I still take it. It is necessary for two reasons: It gives national merit scholarships that can be influential in college students’ lives, and essentially it is the first step in the college process.

The PSAT provides the one thing every college student could benefit from, money. In an era where the average cost of college is $35,551 including room and board money is essential to make it through college. Shockingly, currently, in the US 83.8% of students receive/benefit from any type of aid. Students have options: loans, grants, need-based aid(money given based on your finical ability to pay for college), or scholarships. Loans will have to be paid back meaning they will be a burden for students in the future. Most students can find options such as grants and scholarships just by talking to a college advisor.  Taking advantage of financial aid options that won’t have to be paid back is something I am personally looking forward to. One of the ways I can get money is through National Merit. It is one of the most prestigious ways to obtain scholarships with only 7,500 people being selected from a pool of 1.5 million. Even if they are not selected, students are still eligible to receive a letter of commendation to proceed with the college process. There are no negatives to having this opportunity, only positives.

College was a daunting word in my sophomore year, and it still is in my junior year. Even with it being at the back of your mind as a sophomore it will be relevant very soon and you can’t run away from that. In retrospect, PSAT was a small ease into the process. It was a test that all I had to do was try my best on. It is really made for practice, but for sophomores, it helps them decide the best test to take for their skill set. Taking it again this year as a junior helped me reassess my decision and is ultimately more practice. I believe there is no negative to more practice, especially on a test that can be so important. My mom always says practice makes perfect and even though I don’t want to practice sometimes it is much needed.

Overall the PSAT which may present as unnecessary and stupid is essential. It is small but helpful for the college process as it allows a student to practice. Most importantly, it is a financial option for those who are dealing with the shocking prices of college in the modern age.