As a sophomore, I had to take the PSAT on October 16th, which is a practice version of the SAT. I was expecting to spend long periods of time waiting for time to be up once I was done, but that was definitely not the case.

I’m usually a fairly quick test-taker but the PSAT took me by surprise. During the first 25-minute section, I expected to have plenty of time to finish answering all of the questions in that section. I only completely finished one out of five sections.

Having less than a minute for each question didn’t settle well with my testing strategy. I circle things, underline important statements and leave plenty of marks on my testing booklet. Of course, this takes time, which I didn’t have to spare while taking the PSAT. I can only imagine the struggle others face who usually take much longer on tests.

Besides the time limit, the actual questions on the PSAT didn’t surprise me too much. My English teacher had given her students a practice PSAT packet which I filled out the nights before the test. Being familiar with what you’re going to be tested on makes the whole thing less scary and you can even time yourself while taking a practice PSAT to learn how to manage your time.

The only advice I can give to others taking the PSAT in the future is to make sure you practice. Even if it may just be a required assignment from your English or math teacher, it’s there to help you and get you familiar with what’s to come. Practicing is even more helpful if you usually take longer to complete tests.