We’d love it if you’d tell us about your experiences with the 2013 PSAT because we’re hoping to put up a blog post about it on www.pahsi.net (maybe soon, maybe after the scores come out in December). We welcome info from both homeschoolers and others. Below is an informal and unscientific survey meant to gather your observations – not necessarily hard data. You can cut and paste the questions into an email and then type in your answer after each question; use our numbering; or just send us your own “essay” describing whatever you want about your experience. The survey is addressed to test-takers – if you’re a parent, test proctor, etc., please say so. If you can’t answer all the questions, just answer the ones you can. Without further ado, here are our questions:
1. What happened with the cursive thing? (See our previous blog post, “PSAT Cursive Crisis.”)
2. Were the instructions for filling in your name, etc., read aloud by a person in the room or by someone over the P.A. system? And how did that go?
3. At what point/s was your I.D. checked, and by whom?
4. Who chose where you would sit?
5. What happened with people who arrived late?
6. What happened when someone said they had to go to the bathroom?
7. Did anyone throw up?
8. What happened when somebody had pencil problems?
9. Did the adults involved in administering the test seem stressed out, bored, cheerful, or what?
10. Was there a clock clearly visible in the room? And how did the person in charge handle the timing of each section on the test? (Writing the starting and ending times on the board, announcing how much time was left, etc.)
11. Are a homeschooler? If so, how hard or easy was it to arrange to take the PSAT? And did you know in advance that you were supposed to fill in a homeschool code? And what happened with that?
12. If you’re not a student at the school you took the test at, how did other test-takers react to your presence?
13. If you’re a homeschooler, did the various adults at the school and the other test-takers know or find out that you are? And how did they react?
14. Were there any conflicts or problems you haven’t already described, for you or any of the other test-takers?
15. How would you improve the administration of the PSAT if it were up to you? (It’s OK to say that if it were up to you the PSAT would not exist – we welcome all opinions.)
16. What advice would you give to a friend about the PSAT?
17. What grade are you in (if any)? And were there any complications over that (if you were taking the PSAT early, or whatever)?
18. Are the experiences you drew from to complete this survey all from this year (2013), or did you mix in experiences from previous years?
19. Where did you take the test? Be as vague or specific as you want, but it would be good if we could know the city or state (or country) you took it in, and whether it was at a public or private school. (This is because the College Board has contracts with some school districts or states and not others, and because some private schools or public school systems require all students in certain grades to take the test, and/or cover the cost for them.)
20. Why did you take the test? (It’s OK so to say, “My parents made me!”, but then please add why you think they did.) Especially if you’re homeschooling, please tell us about reasons in addition to the obvious ones of preparing for the SAT or trying for a National Merit Scholarship – like eligibility for College Now in New York City or for talent search programs nationwide, or getting a score on record that might help with high school admissions.
Before you hit “send”, remember that it’s against the rules to share anything about the actual test questions (at least until everybody in all time zones worldwide for both the Oct. 16 and the Oct. 19 tests is all done – and maybe longer).
Feel free to pass this survey on. Completed surveys and other comments/writings should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org . If we want to quote from what you wrote, we will do so without identifying you unless you explicitly say that you want your name to be included. Thanks!