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PSATs and SATS will go online in March

When students take the PSATs and SATs this year, they will do so on school computers.
File photo
When students take the PSATs and SATs this year, they will do so on school computers.

 

Sophomores and juniors will be taking the PSAT and SAT digitally on March 28 for the first time. Though this is a major change from how the test is traditionally taken, the College Board says that it measures the students’ skills the same, but more efficiently. Academic websites like Khan Academy find that it will be more secure and practical than on paper for both students and teachers.
Starr Giscombe, the assistant principal in charge of testing, says that she doesn’t know the exact reason but could understand the purpose behind this major decision. “COVID opened up a lot of opportunities for companies to do things,” Ms. Giscombe says. “Testing online is more cost effective and convenient. With the click of a button, we can save time, resources and still get the job done,” she adds. She considers the fact that some benefits include the fact that it is cheaper and easier to find a student’s score. However, a downside is that it may crash.
To Ms. Giscombe, cheating isn’t as big of a concern since the students will not be able to open any other applications. “I don’t mind the change, a test is a test, but I believe all testing should be abolished. It doesn’t measure someone’s intelligence or success,” she says. Additionally, she notes that the Wi-Fi may seem slow, but the school does actually have the bandwidth to support the PSAT and SAT on the computers. Sites like Spotify, Pandora, Soundcloud, and Youtube are the ones using up the bandwidth.
“I feel a bit better knowing it’s online due to the fact that it’ll be easier to understand. It also makes me feel more comfortable and stable,” says Charles Matthews, a sophomore. “I am very confident in my ability on the PSAT.”

Junior Ashley Perez isn’t so sure.  “I’m not going to lie,” she said. ” I feel like it’ll limit the access for students. I don’t really have a problem with it, I just feel like the Wi-Fi isn’t good enough for this, it might crash. It’s the SAT, why not just take the same precautions as the Regents.”

For some all that matters are the results.
“I really don’t care, as long as I take it and do well on it,” says Brandon Ford, a junior.

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Myess Hammouri, Staff Writer
Myess Hammouri, a sophomore at Bronx River, likes playing chess.

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