Preparing for the PSAT

Every year, students across the nation face a dreaded and rigorous challenge- the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT. It is a 154 question, four section test that students prepare for months in advance, aiming for the highest score possible. It can help with applying to colleges, getting financial aid, and more. However, the stress in the months prior to the SAT often exceeds the stress of the test itself.

So what are students to do to prepare? Some take online or classroom preparation courses, or go to individual SAT tutors, but one event that takes place here on our very own campus is the PSAT, or Preliminary SAT, which numerous students across several grade levels took on October 14th, due to receive scores several months later.
“I think I am very prepared [for the PSAT] and don’t need to be nervous,” said junior Sam McGlynn. “I think it’s good preparation for the actual SAT because I’ve heard that the PSAT is harder than the actual SAT,” he continued. This is an opinion that is backed up by students who have taken the test previously.

Da Vinci’s inclusion of the test on it’s own campus is helpful for students who may prefer to test in a familiar setting.McGlynn said, “I feel more comfortable taking it at Da Vinci because I’m familiar with the campus and it’s a lot smaller.” Also included in the PSAT testing process is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test, or NMSQt, which can provide opportunities and scholarships for students trying to get into college. “I know it’s something I should really do good on,” said sophomore Bjorn Bush, “I think it has to do with getting into colleges as well, so practicing for it would be important.”

While the PSAT can be a stressful time of year for some students, it ultimately provides an opportunity for them to prepare for the final SAT, while also offering opportunities for scholarships. Students that take the PSAT can often expect to receive a higher score on their SAT, and to feel better prepared overall. The PSAT is a great opportunity for many students across the grade levels, and is highly advised by both of Da Vinci’s counselors. If you have any questions regarding the PSAT or SAT, please feel free contact your counselors, Ms. Strand at or Ms. Roper at

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