Paly announces plans to host SAT in April

Jason Lin and Jeffrey Tu

According to the College Board, many students across the nation have been unable to take their PSAT tests due to COVID-19 restrictions. Cancelled test registrations have consistently trended over 50% in the past four months. Graphic: Jeffrey Tu

Palo Alto High School will be hosting an SAT for all juniors on April 13, according to Principal Brent Kline’s newsletter on Dec. 6. The SAT comes in response to the cancellation of the January PSAT.

Kline will host a questions and answers session at 8:30 a.m. Friday to address the new testing opportunity.

As an added benefit, students who missed the PSAT — for the first time — will be able to substitute the new SAT test scores for National Merit Scholarship entries. 

“In the past, NMSC [National Merit Scholar Corporation] required that the school send a letter for the student to enter,” Kline stated in the newsletter. “Instead of sending a letter, students may now submit their SAT scores for exams taken between August 2020 and June 2021 in lieu of the PSAT.” 

According to Charu Gupta, Paly Parent Teacher Student Association president, the PTSA will work with the district to provide financial support for students seeking to take the test.

“The PSAT has been provided free of charge for our students at Paly for many years and has been funded by PTSA,” Gupta said. “Our anticipation is that this will be free for all of our juniors.”

Some students have expressed criticism over the PSAT cancellation.

“They [the district] proposed a whole hybrid system involving us going to in-person school during a global health crisis, but they aren’t willing to open for events like the PSAT,” junior Jeremy Yun said.

Following the announcement of a Paly SAT-testing day, other students are thankful that the district has found an alternative way for students to gain eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship.

“I think that having an SAT testing day on April 13. is a great opportunity for students to get an SAT score for their college applications,” junior Parker Wang said. “I’ve heard before that many recruitments and applications are going to occur earlier this year, which is another reason why this SAT opportunity is important for many students.”