Students are taking either the PSAT or SAT on Oct. 13, provided and hosted by MVHS.
The pandemic disrupted much of the PSAT and SAT process. Testing sessions were canceled to follow COVID guidelines, forcing some students to either not take it or travel great lengths to find one open.
Daniela Quiñones, the assistant principal who oversees the junior class as well as assessments, technology, and the world language, ELD, and health departments, said the community’s response to the school hosting the assessments has been “overwhelmingly positive and appreciative” and “a huge relief for students” who no longer have to worry about finding a location to take the test.
Emails from administrators have been sent to students informing them of their situation. Freshmen will have remote learning at home and an email sent from school Wednesday morning with two assignments freshmen should complete. Sophomores will be taking the PSAT.
Juniors will also take the PSAT unless they previously filled out a form stating they wished to take the SAT. Seniors have the option to take the SAT or have independent study for the day. Students taking the PSAT or SAT must be at school at 8:00 am in the room they were assigned by administration informed through email.
According to Quiñones, the assessment will be proctored by teachers and take about four hours and fifteen minutes to complete, including breaks.
Quiñones recommends sophomores take the exam for practice “before actually taking the test to qualify for National Merit.” Juniors can take the PSAT to practice for the SAT and qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program, which awards scholarships and academic recognition. Seniors can take the SAT in case they want to submit scores to colleges.
That being said, many universities have become test-optional for the 2021-2022 application year as they have recognized the difficulty students have had trying to take the SAT. More and more schools were already becoming test-optional due to the financial inequities of the assessment and belief the exam was not a true measurement of a student’s intelligence. The UC system has permanently excluded standardized test scores from their application. College Board has also removed the essay portion of the SAT.
Quiñones said the MVLA foundation purchased the exams and is “always looking for ways to support kids, and support our school and district goals, and paying for exam fees can be a barrier for some students and so this is an opportunity for them to not worry about that.”