Nyah McKinney, In Our School/Op-Ed Editor

On October 15th, the sophomores and juniors of West Orange High School took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT). Students were told to arrive at 7:30 am and began testing around 8 am. The test was 3 hours long, so most students got out between 11:30 am – 12:00 pm.


The PSAT is a prep test for the SAT, which is a test most students take in their junior year of high school. The standardized test challenges students’ knowledge on reading, writing, and math. 


The PSAT is administered by the College Board and is co-sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which gives students the opportunity to earn a Merit Scholarship of $2,500. Although both sophomores and juniors take the test, administrators and counselors can only choose juniors who qualify for the scholarship.


On October 6th, 6 WOHS students were recognized for receiving Letters of Commendation from the 2022 Merit Scholarship program. These students were Tyler Harwood, Stephanie Nicolaescu, Brynn Sanner, Elena Hause, James Tibang, and Nathaniel Rodgers. West Orange Schools acknowledged these students on their Instagram in a post captioned: “… In September, these high scorers are notified through their schools that they have qualified as either Commended Students or Semifinalists. … The 6 commended students represent approximately 34,000 students nationally that received PSAT/NMSQT Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic performance. They are selected based on a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is below the level required to be named Semifinalists in their respective states…”


Unless a student is focused on earning the National Merit $2,500 Scholarship or other scholarships, the PSAT is simply a prep-test to evaluate their skills. The test lets students assess their level of preparedness for the SAT, allowing them to get familiar with the test and build an understanding on what needs to be worked on.