The Wake County school system has rescheduled October’s PSAT exam date after hearing complaints that holding it on a Saturday conflicted with too many extracurricular events for students.
High schools and middle schools will now hold the PSAT test on Wednesday, Oct. 19, during school hours instead of Saturday, Oct. 15. The change affects hundreds of students, and the registration deadline has been extended to Thursday.
“The principals and some of our school officials did hear from parents and community partners that there were a lot of events going on that Saturday, not only with athletic events but band,” said Michael Yarbrough, a Wake schools spokesman. “There was the potential of hundreds of students not being able to take the PSAT that day so the decision was made to move it back to the original date on Oct. 19.”
The PSAT, which is administered by the College Board, gauges how prepared students are for the SAT college admissions test. High school juniors also use the PSAT to qualify for National Merit scholarships. Middle school students take the test to get into programs for gifted children such as Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP).
The test is free for 11th-grade students who have a GPA of 4.5625 or higher. It’s $15 for everyone else.
Yarbrough said Wake school officials initially chose Oct. 15 to avoid cutting into school instructional time.
Longtime PTA volunteers Nancy Caggia, Gary Lewis and Sarah Martin were among the people who contacted school officials and school board members about changing the date from Oct. 15. Lewis is one of three candidates running for the District 8 seat on the school board.
“Luckily they fixed it so the kids won’t be penalized,” Caggia said.