This morning it begins. Our little chickadees start running the college-testing gauntlet. At our high school, sophomores (and juniors, of course) are taking the PSAT -- Preliminary SAT as it is officially known, or Practice or Predictive as it could also be called.
So while I am finishing another cup of coffee, my sophomore will be enjoying/enduring more than two hours of demonstrating strengths in critical reading, math and writing skills. It really is a warm-up test for the sophomores -- and maybe for parents, too -- as we truly enter the college-prep phase of our families' lives. To be followed by that first progress report, Sophomore Parents' Night, our teens' first serious college-related session with their guidance counselors, report cards, decisions about subject tests, and so on.
The College Board, which seems to think of everything nervous kids and parents need to know, has a helpful, calm-inducing piece that is worth reading. The main takeaway from the College Board is: Are you in ninth or 10th grade? Yes? Then relax. The PSAT/NMSQT shows skills you’ve learned and skills you may still need to work on before you go to college. It does not expect you to perform as well as students in 11th grade, and you still have time to learn and improve.
Learn and improve! Remember that when the scores come back in December. Meanwhile, our teen went off to the test happy: she got to sleep in a bit more today and she was excited about taking this first step. Good for her.