Wauwatosa West Students Take the PSAT

Payton Mayer and Gunner Sewell

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Although 115 Wauwatosa West Sophomores and Juniors took the Preliminary SAT or PSAT the morning of Wednesday, October 16th, some students were not able to register and take the test due to a lack of available tests. 

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test or PSAT/NMSQT test gives students an indication of how they would perform on the SAT or ACT test.  The test is also used to determine qualifications for a National Merit Scholarship. According to the College Board the Preliminary SAT is test is taken by approximately 3.5 million students in the United States each year. 

“I decided to take the test in order to qualify as an NMSQT finalist and hopefully get scholarships,” said Junior Jared Weber.

The 2 hour and 45 minutes long test evaluates student reading, writing and math skills and gives students a sense of how they would perform on the SAT or ACT college admission examination. 

Some students who wanted to take the test were not able to take the test because not enough tests were ordered. 

“I was upset about not being able to take it, but I understand that they had a set amount of tests ordered and I was late to turn in my forms,”  Junior Maddie Bishop said. 

Students nationwide who take this test qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. This standardized test is managed by the College Board. 

“The test will also give you credit towards National Merit if you are a Junior,” Career Center Director Elizabeth Streim said. 

The test is 2 hour and 45 minutes and is taken in the morning. The assessment measures skills in multiple subjects such as math, reading and writing.

“I recommend students take the test because it’s good practice for the SAT and will help prepare students for the test,” Elizabeth Streim said. 

To prepare for the test Weber used the practice packet given by the administration.

“Before the test, I was nervous, but after, I felt good,” Weber explained. 

 The highest score possible for students to get is a 1520 because the test is adjusted to match the lower difficulty compared to the actual SAT assessment.  

 “I found all sections of equal difficulty,” Jared said.

Due to the number of tests ordered, not all students who signed up to take the test were able to take it on October 16th.

“The test cut off is 115 and only about 113 or 114 actually took the test,” Elizabeth Streim said.

Although it was not possible for all interested and eligible students to take the test, all students signed up were told to show up at 7:45 am that morning. 

I was on the waiting list so they told me to come in Wednesday morning before 8 o’ clock. I waited in the guidance office until 8 and then they took me up to both rooms with another Junior to see if they had spots open. They had one more open in the upper gym but the person ahead of me on the waiting list got the spot. I was not informed until then,” Bishop said.    

If someone did not show up for the test in the morning than the next student would get the spot to take the assessment. 

The test benefits many students each year and gives them practice before the spring of Junior year.