Students conquer standardized testing

Matthew Rowland, Assistant Features Editor

Instead of following the usual daily schedule, yesterday all freshmen, sophomores, and juniors at Cathedral Catholic High School participated in the Preliminary SAT.

Seniors were not required to attend, but freshmen engaged in the PSAT 8/9 and both sophomores and juniors engaged in the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Both the PSAT 8/9 and PSAT/NMSQT, standardized tests administered by the College Board, prepare students for the SAT. However, unlike the PSAT 8/9, the PSAT/NMSQT offers more than just practice to students.

“Taking the PSAT 8/9 as a freshman and the PSAT/NMSQT as a sophomore felt super useless to me,” Brain Balo ‘20 said. “Now, as a junior preparing to submit applications to universities, I have realized that the PSAT/NMSQT can be more than some boring standardized test.”

For juniors, scores from the PSAT/NMSQT determine the qualifications for the National Merit Scholarship Program. According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, around 1.6 million students enter the National Merit Scholarship program each year from the PSAT/NMSQT and around 8,000 receive Merit Scholarship awards.

“Knowing that the PSAT/NMSQT prepares me for the SAT and might allow me to be eligible for scholarships motivates me to do the best I can on the test,” Balo said.