Taking the PSAT requires remedial action

Taking the PSAT requires remedial action

Sara Yang

October’s PSAT was accompanied by a twist when the school ran out of tests 


When the school ran out of testing materials for the October PSAT, administration acted quickly to remedy the situation—crisis averted.
PSAT registration was open until Sept. 25 for juniors who began signing up Sept. 14, and for sophomores, Sept. 21.  During this two-week window, over 720 $25 checks poured into the ASB office to cover students’ testing materials.
The materials were ordered in the spring of the previous school year.  Unfortunately, Assistant Principal Dennis Plaza had only procured 720 tests, resulting in an overflow of students.  The traditional method had always worked well in the past, but this year brought a twist.
"Something happened that had never happened here before we ran out of tests," Assistant Principal Secretary Lisa Mueller said.  "[We] didn’t know what we were going to do initially."
A possible explanation for the phenomenon lay in the fact that 328 sophomores signed up for the test out of 735 total registrants although, according to Mueller, "the PSAT is for juniors, we offer it to sophomores as a practice."
To fix the problem, Plaza contacted College Board, the PSAT supplier.  By the following week, he had set up a junior-exclusive waiting list. Supplementary tests arrived on campus within a week and Mueller alerted the 30-plus wait-listed students via phone.  About 735 sophomores and juniors arrived on campus on Saturday morning, Oct. 17, for the 8 a.m. testing appointment.
"We could have had every student that was on the wait list come take it," Mueller said.  "Some didn’t come in to pay." 

However, since the juniors received priority for the PSAT, only juniors were placed on the waiting list while some sophomores were cut off on the last day of registration.
Sophomore Puneeth Vijayendra decided to take the PSAT at Fremont High School instead.

"I assumed that all the Fremont Union School Districts would have it," Vijayendra said.

He planned to take the SAT in January 2010 and the PSAT again as a junior for National Merit Scholar eligibility.

Despite administration’s actions to ensure that all juniors could register for the PSAT, some believed the motions were unnecessary.
"[The students who didn’t pay] were the kids that didn’t really care to take it," wait-listed junior Yeshar Hadi said.  "It just wasn’t really important… to them."
Mueller also suggested that students who were unable to take the PSAT can take an SAT Practice Test at http://collegeboard.com.