PSAT administration on Wednesday
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) will be held on from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14, in contrast with the previous years’ tradition of administering the test on Saturdays.
The College Board first announced the schedule change in early spring of 2015 due to reports of previous weekend test dates conflicting with religious holidays. Schools were informed that they would be able to select between the dates of Oct. 14 and 28 for administering the test, of which the Walnut High School administration chose Oct. 14. Since most of the school facilities and classrooms will still be in use during the weekday, the library, MPR and gym will be accommodating only 400 juniors, a drop from approximately 1000 students who took the exam last year.
Juniors who are taking the exam can expect an excused absence on the test day and have the chance to make up their homework and assignments. However, they will still be missing instructional time.
“I [think] that [the teachers] will be able to circumvent the problematic situation by making the morning sessions a less significant part of the course so students who are taking the PSAT won’t have trouble catching up,” junior Andy Jin said. “Students who are not taking the PSAT will have a productive study hall period. It’s already given that homework assignments for the testing students will be excused, so that won’t be a problem at all.”
Sophomores will not be able to participate on this test day due to the limited spaces. However, The College Board anticipated this situation for public education systems and has opened up the PSAT 10 for sophomores on Wednesdays Feb. 24 and Mar. 2 in 2016.
“Our administration did not make room for [the spring sophomore testing] last year in our calendar for this year, but the new administration with Principal Dade and Assistant Principal Navarro is looking into it,” Grade Level Coordinator and PSAT facilitator Ruthellyn Whittington said. “There is a possibility of sophomores being tested in spring with a window of 300 seats. That is in middle of being discussed. As soon as we know, we’ll [tell] sophomore classes, and in their English classes we’ll pass out flyers and put [the news] on the GLC blog.”
By Caroline Huang, News editor