Malden High Struggles During Technical Difficulties of the PSAT

Caroline Santos and Gustavo Pereira also contributed to this article.

The changes to the PSAT took students by surprise. This year the district and College Board agreed on making the PSAT online. They had never done this before, so they were nervous to see how it would go. The sophomores and juniors were taken aback by this change and had very split opinions.

Many students could not care less about how they take the test: “To be honest I don’t see much of a difference between the online and paper test, I liked qualities in both of them,”  said Samantha Cuellar. 

Although this was the first PSAT the sophomores took, some believed that it went very well and would not ever want to do it on paper. Sophomore Katherine Vasquez said, “Paper tests make me so anxious, the timer on the computers helped me pace myself and made me so much less nervous.”  Many sophomores claimed it was a lot easier than they thought it would be. “I was so nervous going into this but I felt so much better knowing what the SAT will be like,” said Janiyah Warner.

Because of the sudden change in the PSATs, there was bound to be a problem that helped stir opinions about the PSAT before it even started. When everyone was ready to start, there was a delay due to technical difficulties revolving around the application, Bluebook, presented by CollegeBoard. Some students were more excited thinking that PSAT would be canceled. 

This delay caused a storm for many students, and staff was even confused with the new system. Adding onto the stress of having wasted time in the beginning, people were also stressed due to a timer ensuring they knew how much time they had to fulfill questions. 

The issues caused by the site crashing affected not only students but teachers as well. John Frigo, a chemistry teacher and PSAT proctor, thought the whole experience was “chaotic.”

This experience with the PSAT serves as a future reference on what to work on to make it less difficult for students and staff next year. Although the PSAT was a drastic change to what Malden High has come to know in the past few years, hopefully, its community will come to like it done digitally. 

Students also commented on how they are excited to get their results back. On the online test, they were given an option to be given their results back after a few weeks. The option is definitely exciting as it comes with an app with help for whatever questions you might have. These test results should be sent out to students soon. 

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