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The Prospector

The student news site of Manitou Springs High School

The Prospector

The student news site of Manitou Springs High School

The Prospector

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Students prepare for the new PSAT/SAT test

Novelty strikes MSHS students with new PSAT/SAT formatting starting the new school year
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Halli Frost
Katelyn Fonkert (12) and Dalton Gates (12) represent paper versus electronic PSAT/SAT.

As of fall 2023, College Board has changed the administration of the PSAT and SAT tests to digital. Not only has the form of taking the test changed, but also the test itself.

Instead of the traditional three part test composed of math, evidence based reading, and writing, the total testing time typically takes about four hours and includes two five minute breaks between the three sections. The new digital version of the tests is divided into two parts, and the duration is about 2 hours, with one ten minute break between the two sections.

This new version of the PSAT and SAT is also slightly easier than the paper and pencil version, as the test is computer adaptive meaning it adjusts the difficulty based on the students performance.

Students are open and looking forward to creating efficiency and adaptivity within the tests. “I think it will probably affect me positively. I’m a short distance runner. I like to get it all out in the beginning,” Maddox Gonzalez (11) said.

Though the test supports efficiency, some students are anticipating difficulties with staying focused and sitting still throughout the entire duration of the test. Since the test adapts to the pace and difficulty of students, breaks will be administered at separate times for each student.

This means that standing up and moving around freely during breaks is prohibited. “I don’t think I’m gonna be a huge fan of  everyone having breaks at different times,” AJ Jackson (11) said. “I have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), so I’m not going to be able to sit still that long.”

The changes that have been made to the test support a technology driven society, but may come with some complications. “The test has always been relatively straightforward, but whenever you add technology to something there’s inevitably some hiccups along the way,” English teacher Pierce Gillard said.

The new system is not only supposed to make it easier for students taking the test but also the teachers proctoring. “I think when we look at something like the PSAT/SAT assessments, if they can benefit from efficiency and better tools for a test then students will be more successful,” Gillard said.

There are both positive and negative opinions when it comes to change.

Although change can feel overwhelming, it is important to accept change and be open to new things, but only time will tell how the students and school are affected.

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About the Contributor
Halli Frost, Senior Reporter
Halli Frost is a junior at Manitou Springs High School. She loves soccer, journalism and choir. She loves learning new things and being open to new opportunities. Some of her hobbies are taking pictures, hiking and playing video games. She is hoping to focus more on sports and physical health this year.  She is excited for all of the great things that this year will bring. Her quote for the year is “Work smarter for the things you love, not harder.”
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    Gideon AignerOct 10, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    I feel like these companies rarely make these decisions with neurodivergent folks in mind. If they found a way to make an exception for that, it would be amazing, but this is a step in the right direction overall

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