The PSAT and SAT are Coming Up!

Adil Shariff, Writer

“I hate the SAT,” says junior Kelli Bagwell. “It’s not that I hate the actual test, I just hate the pressure put on us to do well; like, it determines our life or something.”

Taking the SAT is probably one of the most stressful times for a junior or senior in high school.  Students usually take the exam around the second semester of their junior year. But if you aren’t a junior or senior, then you don’t have to worry about it just yet.

Ninth, tenth and eleventh graders take the Preliminary SAT exam, also known as the PSAT.  This exam is co-sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. If your score is competitive with the nation’s highest scores, you earn the distinction of being named a National Merit Scholar and can compete for National Merit Scholarship programs.

But don’t worry, for college admissions, this test isn’t as important as the SAT.

The SAT, a benchmark standardized assessment, testing students on reading, math and writing, is offered seven times a year.

The test taking about 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete and consists of ten separately timed sections:

  • three sections on reading
  • three sections on math
  • three sections on writing (grammar)
  • one essay prompt

Each question is worth the same amount, but what answer you give changes the amount of points awarded. The raw score is calculated on a 200-800 scale, and that is your final score!

It is never too early to start preparing for the SAT as there are a handful of resources available.

SAT prep books are available at the bookstore. Or, online sites like Shmoop (as ODA students we all have memberships!) provide practice problems. Some schools even have an SAT prep course that you can take. Hoping to find other help online? Here are some websites that are very helpful:



Get ready everybody, the tests are coming!