When I asked most students how the PSAT went I got the same response from every 9th grade student I asked: "My score was so bad!"
Some 10th graders had a more realistic expectation of the PSAT given that many of them already practiced last year and were able to compare their scores and even see some improvement, but some were still disappointed by their scores.
What is it about these scores that is so discouraging for our learners? Many Bonsall students test above state and national averages so until high school, students have been able to see scores as a validation of their hard work or talent. The SAT isn't designed to validate or measure specific standards taught, it is a tool colleges use to see what students know generally and whether they can apply the knowledge at high levels. After only a few months, or even a year, students should not expect to demonstrate a full grasp of high school curriculum as compared with juniors and seniors.
Here are some things that we hope BHS students understand about their PSAT scores:
1) The SAT is for high school juniors and seniors. Their scores are less important right now while the practice and getting used to the format of the new test is the primary goal.
2) This test is a baseline score for this year. Growth over time is a big part of our work at BHS and having students reflect on where they are helps them get in the habit of understanding that excellence takes time.
3) SAT scores are only part of the puzzle. Competitive grades, developing strong personal values and talents, and finding ways to serve the community are all other areas that complete the picture for college admissions officers.
BHS is committed to helping your student be as prepared as possible for college and/or the career pathway that will emerge for them as they mature. We will keep you informed about our work as we continue to grow in this area and appreciate your support and feedback along the way.