Big changes in National Testing

October 14th –  Today is National Testing Day, during which the PSAT and Diagnostic Tests are taken by Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors. Seniors, however, get to sleep-in.

This year, the PSAT, SAT, and all standard curriculum are in the process of changing, or have already been changed to CCSS (Common Core State Standards).

“[The new test] focuses on assessing the application of skills identified as integral to college and career readiness,” said English Department Chair Mr. Ted Hornback ‘83 about these changes to the tests.

The realignment of the content make the PSAT, SAT and ACT more alike, and closer to the curriculum taught in classes nationwide.

“The new SAT will be better because it’s more about what is taught in class, aligned with the CCSS-making it easier to know what to expect and taking away some stress,” said Mrs. Carol Rose, the Director of the Academic Support Center.

The ACT will stay as its own test, and the National Merit program associated with the PSAT will remain untouched.

Fortunately for those who have already begun preparing for the SAT or PSAT, the content will be comparable to the material of the old test, meaning that previous prep work remains valid.

The test taking style enforced by the test, unlike the content, has changed quite a bit. The new tests focus on endurance, pushing the students to do more in longer durations of time with less breaks.

“The PSAT is a good way to practice for the SAT coming up later in the year. The test shouldn’t be taken lightly because it can also help for college.” said Rodrigo Soler ‘17, in giving a student perspective about National Testing Day.

The new PSAT is another step for the nation-wide changes of education focused on Sophomores and Juniors and as such should be used as an advantageous source of preparation for the SAT which will be implemented in the Spring for Seniors and Juniors.