Juniors take the PSAT/NMSQT

Junior students at Grayslake North High School and Grayslake Central High School took the PSAT/NMSQT on October 14, following the proper coronavirus precautions. 

Amid the craziness of a pandemic, Grayslake students began the preliminary testing for the SAT on October 14, which will occur this upcoming spring for all juniors. There is no day for a set makeup test, in order to eliminate more potential exposure or risk to mass groups of people. 

The administration and staff have been sure to prepare for testing in order to ensure that it is as safe as can be by staggering break and start times, strategically planning testing groups and bus routes, as well as creating multiple entries. The staff has been hard at work planning for standardized testing so students and staff can have as much limited interaction with each other as possible. 

“That way both students and staff when they are there are only worried about the test. We don’t want anybody to be feeling anxiety over being in the room or things like that. It’s a pretty important test, and we want them focusing on the exam,” said Adam DeCaluwe, head of testing, on the COVID-19 precautions his team is making. 

The PSAT is a test that mimics the actual SAT in order to prepare students for their junior or senior year of actually taking this test. This test also includes the NMSQT, which stands for the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. This is a prestigious scholarship program that students are offered to participate in if they achieve good scores on their PSAT testing. 

“If you are able to do very well on that test, then you might have a scholarship coming your way. I think it is also fairly prestigious and awesome to put on your resume, which is another great thing that I think a lot of college bound students might be looking for, a way to enhance their resume for colleges eventually,”said Kim Johnson, math department chair. 

It is still required by the state of Illinois to take the SAT in person to be able to graduate from high school. The test curriculum has not been affected by the virus and students are expected to know math and English skills up to a twelfth grade level. Students are able to prove what they know and what they have learned by taking this test, and the state of Illinois can gather data and adjust the overall curriculum based upon the test scores gathered from schools. 

“You are more than a test score,” said Amy Alderson, an English teacher. Before testing, remember to get a full night’s rest, a good meal and do not stress too much.