Emily Bixler Viraj Govani Aidan Hanley Jackson Muraika
Every year, sophomores and juniors across the country take the PSATs, a test designed to prepare them for the SATs.
Seniors Emily Bixler, Aidan Hanley and Jackson Muraika are being commended for their exceptional PSAT performance, and senior Viraj Govani is a NMSQT scholarship semifinalist. Of the 1.6 million students who take the PSATs annually, only 34,000 are commended, while only 16,000 are semifinalists.
“I am honest surprised I made it. I always looked up to those people, but I had never imagined being one myself,” said Govani. “I mean, 1.6 million is a big number and to be selected out of that many people? Wow.”
They will attend a school board meeting to be praised for their performance and a dinner in celebration.
“I’m pretty happy with how I did here, and the dinner from the school is cool,” said Hanley. “I wasn’t really stressing over [the PSATs] or how I’d do, so I was pretty surprised when I heard I got commended.”
As PSAT stands for “Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test,” SAT scores are valued more by colleges than PSATs.
"The SATs seem like a step up from the PSATs, however I'm really glad I took them both in my sophomore year and junior year, because I think they helped me prepare for the SATs I took this past year,” said Muraika.
With both the PSATs and SATs, stress is a major issue for many students. Trying to relieve that stress and not being too worried prior to these tests can significantly help a student’s performance.
“For me, I think a lot of the reason I performed so well on both [the PSATs] and the actual SATs is that I really wasn’t stressed at all,” said Bixler. “I came in there, I wasn’t worried about it, I didn’t really spend any time preparing beforehand [for the PSATs], but I think that’s a good thing because it meant I was less worried about it.”
Though colleges take the SATs in account in admissions, other factors like GPA, extracurricular activities, and recommendations are also considered. Some schools even allow applicants to withhold standardized test scores.
"You're not judged on just how you did on just one day in your life, you're judged on yourself as a whole, and the resume you put together,” said Muraika.