PSAT Update for 2020-2021
Fall 2020 PSAT (Information for Sophomores and Juniors)
In an ordinary year we would host the PSAT on campus for sophomores and juniors in October. Given the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, gathering all of the sophomores and juniors (over 100 students) on campus for the PSAT will not be possible this year.
The PSAT essentially serves as a “practice test” for the SAT. Thus, if we are not able to administer it at all, we want to reassure families that the impact on students’ trajectories or college prospects is negligible. This has been corroborated by our college counseling department. There are other opportunities for practice testing.
Our current plan is to offer the PSAT to the junior class (Class of 2022) only on the newly offered Tuesday, January 26, 2021 test date – but only if it is deemed safe to gather students and proctors to administer the test safely, and we are granted permission by the Santa Clara Department of Public Health. Stay tuned for more information.
We are prioritizing juniors for several reasons. First, juniors will be embarking on the college admissions process this spring, and will benefit from early practice in standardized testing. The PSAT also acts as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test for junior test-takers. (We will keep junior families apprised of what will happen should juniors not be able to test at all.) The journey to becoming a strong college applicant is not a race, and students do not necessarily benefit from starting any earlier.
Sophomores’ PSAT scores are not reported anywhere, and count for nothing but the student’s own information. So taking this “practice test for a practice test” (as the PSAT is, for sophomores) may unintentionally steer them toward early anxiety about college and away from the kinds of dynamic, interesting, meaningful pursuits that actually make them stronger college applicants.
Sophomores who wish to experience the PSAT this year may self-administer a practice test. Students who cannot print the test at home can email Ms. Ochoa (firstname.lastname@example.org), and a copy will be left at the front desk for them to pick up. Please contact us if you have any questions.