Dr. Spaid gives information on the upcoming PSAT and SAT exams

Dr. Spaid gives information on the upcoming PSAT and SAT exams

Mackenlie Aughenbaugh, Staff Writer

Many of our students at Clearfield Junior-Senior High School plan to or are thinking of continuing their education after graduation. The PSAT and SAT are both tests that give you an idea of where you stand academically. The SAT is also an exam considered by many colleges when accepting students. If you are a student interested in going further with education after high school and/or would like to know more about these exams, here are some common questions about the PSAT and SAT, answered by our junior and senior guidance counselor, Dr. Spaid.

Q: Who can take the PSATs?
Dr. Spaid: “This spring, only sophomores can take the PSAT. In the fall, Juniors take it.”

Q: What is the PSAT?
Dr. Spaid: “It is a PRACTICE SAT. It is a good replication of the SAT and how it scores. It gives students a pretty good idea of how they will score on the SAT.”

Q: What day and time is the PSAT exam being held?
Dr. Spaid: “It is being held on February 24 at 7:45 AM in various classrooms. The teachers that teach English II and English Pre AP will be administering the test.”

Q: What is the purpose for taking the PSATs?
Dr. Spaid: “To practice for the SAT and to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie on the standardized test. You will get a very detailed read out of your scores and will be able to see where you may need to study a little more.”

Q: Is there any cost to take the PSATs?
Dr. Spaid: “No. Our district pays the cost of the PSAT for students.”

Q: What materials should students bring to their testing area?
Dr. Spaid: “A calculator if they want one… you really don’t need one… but some students feel better with a calculator. You should bring 2 number 2 pencils. If you need a snack, you can bring one for the breaks.”

Q: How will A and B days work when taking the PSAT?
Dr. Spaid: “ALL students come in that day- whether they are A or B. If you are not scheduled to be there the day of the test, you can leave afterward or stay the rest of the day and work if you would like.”

Q: Who can take the SAT?
Dr. Spaid: “Any Sophomore.”

Q: What day and time will the SAT be held this year?
Dr. Spaid: “SAT’s will be held on March 24 and April 27. We are holding them during the school day for juniors and seniors. I did a survey and got student numbers for both days. We will test in the library since we won’t have that many students testing.”

Q: Why should students take the SAT?
Dr. Spaid: “That is a good question… some colleges will still require the SAT for admission. I think many won’t going forward. I doubt if the PA state schools will want the SAT, but I suspect Penn State and Pitt and many of the private schools will want it. I am sure the IVY League schools will want the SAT. Some scholarship committees use the SAT too. They are waiving it this year, but in the future they will use it again. Taking the SAT will give students a leg up on those scholarships and perhaps on admission criteria.”

Q: What is the format for the SAT?
Dr. Spaid: “All the math and all the English is given together. There are sections and it is timed.”

Q: Is there any cost to take the exam?
Dr. Spaid: “For the SAT it is $52.00.”

Q: How do you register to take the SAT?
Dr. Spaid: “This year, we did a TEAMS survey and I registered students. Going forward next year, for Saturday tests, students will need to go to the College Board website and create an account and then register through the website.”

Q: Will there be any Saturday exams this year?
Dr. Spaid: “Not the remainder of this school year. I am not sure about the fall. That will be up to the administration.”

Q: Is there anything else you would like the students to know about taking these exams?
Dr. Spaid: “I would encourage students to take it. At least once. You may not need it for admission to college, but as I said, if a scholarship wants SAT scores, you will have them. It is also a good indicator of your strengths academically.”