Park holds in-person PSAT

COVID-19 guidelines have minimal impact on testing

Students+exit+the+field+house+after+taking+the+PSAT+Jan.+27.+Students+were+required+to+wear+masks+and+desks+were+distanced+six+feet+apart+in+compliance+with+COVID-19+guidelines.

Tobias Khabie

Students exit the field house after taking the PSAT Jan. 27. Students were required to wear masks and desks were distanced six feet apart in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.

Molly Schochet and Oliver Smith

On top of enforcing normal exam rules that increase test security, Park testing coordinator Jamie Lapray had to figure out how to enforce new COVID-19 guidelines for the PSAT.

“We just do our best to appeal to everyone knowing what the COVID(-19) guidelines are,” Lapray said. “(We had to) remind people everyone has to stand six feet apart, we had someone at the bathroom making sure kids were going in just two at a time, common sense kind of things.”

The PSAT, which was held in the Fieldhouse Jan. 26 for sophomores and juniors, was originally scheduled for Oct. 14, but got rescheduled due to COVID-19. Coming into the test, junior Shira Hanovich was a little nervous as she thought students would be split up into smaller rooms.

 “I thought we were going to be split up into different rooms, so it would be a little less contamination risk, but now we’re all in the fieldhouse which is a little nerve-wracking,” Hanovich said. “Especially because we would all get up and gather during breaks which I’m completely guilty of as well.” 

Due to the PSAT’s testing date change, Lapray was worried if students had gotten the information they needed.

“I was concerned because we had to cancel it once messaging didn’t get out clearly,” Lapray said. “Plus, with the new student connect app and difficulties learning how to use it, did everyone get the messaging they needed?”

The PSAT is normally spaced out so people can’t cheat, so being socially distanced didn’t really affect anything, and the mask doesn’t really hinder you from taking the test,”

— Axel Abrahamson

Although Hanovich had never taken the PSAT, she didn’t notice many differences from other standardized tests she has taken even with the COVID-19 guidelines.

“I didn’t take the PSAT last year, so my only basis for comparison is AP tests and the ACT, but it felt the same,” Hanovich said. “Everyone stands apart, no one talks to each other, no one touches each other. It’s not that different, just now we’re taking a test in the mask.”

Despite social distancing and other guidelines put in place due to COVID-19, sophomore Axel Abrahamson didn’t feel like the test was much different than it would have been. 

“The PSAT is normally spaced out so people can’t cheat, so being socially distanced didn’t really affect anything, and the mask doesn’t really hinder you from taking the test,” Abrahamson said.

Overall, Hanovich feels the test went smoothly and the impacts of COVID-19 were seen more when studying. 

“I’m sure there’s a lot behind the scenes that we couldn’t see happening but when it came to the actual people taking (the PSAT), it didn’t affect us all that much,” Hanovich said. “I think it’s more outside effects like ability to study and balance other things, but the actual test was just a test.”