Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) continued its mission to prepare its students for post-secondary education with the first-ever administration of the PSAT to the inaugural ninth grade class at LOA on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. The PSAT is a nationwide test taken by approximately 3.4 million high school students each year. The PSAT includes multiple choice questions in Writing Skills, Critical Reading, and Math.
The purpose of the PSAT is to strengthen a student’s possible score on the SAT college admission test. Students who take the PSAT receive a Summary of Answers report in December which will provide details about what questions they answered incorrectly and why, and where they need to focus to improve those weaknesses. Schools that test students at an earlier age have more time to act on PSAT data.
In addition to SAT preparation, the PSAT provides valuable information for a student’s choice in Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Students will collaborate with faculty members to evaluate skills for AP classes and determine what AP classes the student will be most prepared to take. The “AP Potential” is a program of the College Board that uses PSAT results to recommend AP courses to students based on their ability to think critically and reason. In the 11th grade, the PSAT is used as part of National Merit Scholarship qualifying.
PSAT administration for 10th graders is funded by the state of Georgia. LOA has elected to offer and fund the test for all 9th grade students in order for students to gain as much exposure and practice with the test as possible. As LOA expands a grade level each year, it will have all 9th and 10th grade students taking the PSAT next year.
“This is an excellent opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Hester Vasconcelos, AP Coordinator for LOA. “Most 9th grade students do not get to take the PSAT. Taking the PSAT a final time in the 11th grade gives students a fresh skills assessment and a measure of their progress, as well as the chance to compete for scholarships. Research shows that students in U.S. schools who take the PSAT multiple times score an average of 189 points higher on the SAT than students who do not.”
In preparation for the PSAT, LOA administered a Practice PSAT (full-length test) on Saturday, September 27, 2014. This practice test was open to all 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th graders in Greene and surrounding counties. Students arrived at LOA at 8:00 a.m. for breakfast followed by the full-length practice test. Approximately 50 students from Greene and Morgan counties participated in the test session. This will be an annual event at LOA. Interested parents and students should watch the LOA website or contact the school for practice PSAT administration dates.
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Contact: Kerry Minster