On Oct. 17 and 18, juniors and underclassmen students at Oswego High School took the digital version of the PSAT after a digital readiness check on Oct. 3.
Considering OH has never done the PSAT/SAT digitally before, the OH testing administrators used readiness checks to help students transition into digital standardized testing.
“I don’t like the new change. I think it was unnecessary and I found no purpose in it,” said OH sophomore Carley Guger.
Since this is so new, students and staff have had a variety of opinions and feelings around digital testing, especially on whether it should be a permanent change.
Guger, who experienced the paper-and-pencil version of the test as a freshman, added, “I did not prefer taking it digitally. They gave us less time and smaller breaks, and not to mention, the headaches were terrible from staring at the screen for so long. I also had a harder time reading it.”
OH junior Tyler Sanchez had a completely different viewpoint on the switch to digital, even though he took the PSAT on paper for two years in a row.
“It felt better doing it digitally, as it was much simpler than doing it on paper. It felt refreshing to do it differently,” said Sanchez, “For the most part [I preferred taking the PSAT digitally], yes. It felt more comfortable and easier to do.”
Students were in the building both days until 12:20 p.m., and if they weren’t testing, they stayed home and filled out an attendance form for the day(s) they would not be taking the test. But for areas of improvement and parts they would keep in this digital format, Guger and Sanchez had varying ideas.
Guger said, “I wouldn’t keep any of the testing experiences. I didn’t feel prepared, and if they want students to feel prepared, they can send out reminders that it’s coming up. Or make it a choice whether you want students to complete their SAT on paper or a computer.”
On the other hand, when asked about how he felt about the digital switch in its current state, Sanchez believes “as is, it’s okay. No [I didn’t feel prepared], but I feel that what the school teaches can already be found in the PSAT.”
For improvements, Sanchez doesn’t “feel there is anything to be changed. It felt pretty normal for the most part. If you finish early, it can get extremely tiring and could even interfere with the next test.”
Students will take the official PSAT/SAT this spring on April 10 and 11, 2024.