Juniors prepare for the PSAT

Madalyn Dishman, Editor-in-Chief

If your next step after high school is college, it’s crunch time. On October 13, Utica will be hosting the National Merit Scholarship test for all juniors.

This test is actually a competition where students will take the PSAT/NMSQT test and hope to score high enough to qualify for recognition. Students with the top scores in their state can move on to being a semifinalist and even a finalist.

“There’s a chance that if you do well, you have this incredible opportunity,” principal Tom Lietz exclaimed. “It’s like telling someone that behind that door is the opportunity for $1 million, the cost of opening that door is opening that door. It just takes a little bit of your time.”

So, what does being a National Merit Scholar mean? Well, becoming a finalist or receiving recognition not only looks great on resumes, but can give you a real advantage when college application time rolls around. This test will be shown to colleges where students can receive scholarships for their accomplishments.

Taking the PSAT is highly recommended by Lietz and many teachers around the building because of the impact that it could have on your academic career.

“Even if you don’t get the scholarship, who cares,” Lietz said, ‘it opens you up to new things. It’s a practice test environment and until you’ve lived through the experience it’s hard to understand.”

Although juniors are the targeted age group for this test, sophomores are allowed and encouraged to take the test as well. While students can sign up for the test up until test day, There were seven tests available at the time of publication. The test will begin at 8 am and should run until noon on October 14. Practice tests and study help can be found on Khan Academy or on College Board.

To sign up for the SAT/NMSQT, click here.