Leon County Schools Launch the Redesign of the PSAT

Courtesy of The Acronym

Leon County Schools will launch the redesign of the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, which focuses on the skills and knowledge needed for college.

Associate Director and representative for Florida Partnership, Kevin Maloney introduced the redesign of the PSAT to the superintendent Jackie Pons, board members, faculty and parents at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

The restructure will closely reflect the skills and knowledge that are critical for college readiness and success.

Maloney explained the changes of the PSAT and the goals as well as the effects it will have on the students.  

“The new assessment is directly aligned for our students, it will qualify students for national merit and there’s no penalty for guessing,” Maloney said. “I’m very impressed with the trend of moving students towards college readiness.”

The new content is more focused on the schoolwork students are currently doing and it follows current benchmarks in Florida. The test involves critical reading, language skills, math and optional writing, which makes it easier for students to navigate a path through high school, college and eventually their careers.

Maloney also shared a new feature that students will have access too, involving the scores of their test.

“There’s an app where students can take a picture of their answer sheet and get scores immediately,” Maloney said.

With that tool, students will be able to connect their College Board and Khan Academy accounts, which according to KhanAcademy.com offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empowers learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom, to get free personalized SAT study recommendations based off what they missed on the test.  

Board member, Alva Swafford Stripplin expressed her enthusiasm about the changes.

“I love the fact that this test is going to immediately assess what students did wrong,” Stripplin said.  

Schools also partnered with the Boys and Girls club along with Khan Academy to help all students in need.

“The intent is to provide access for all Khan Academy directed to working with students,” Maloney said.  

The math portion of the assessment is more focused on algebraic thinking as opposed to geometry, because colleges asked to re-emphasize why students go into remedial courses when they come right out of high school.

“The college board is into students owning their own future and becoming that champion for themselves, so it’s extremely important that we provide them with the tools and support,” Maloney said.

Jackie Pons, superintendent of Leon County Schools, expressed his excitement of the new design of the PSAT.

“I think any type of information we can get to our students is important to make sure they’re prepared for their future,” Pons said.

The first administering of the PSAT was given to sophomores in Florida on Oct. 14. The first administration of the redesigned SAT will be given in March 2016.

The next school board meeting will be held Oct. 27 at 6 p.m.

For more information about the redesign of the PSAT visit collegereadiness.collegeboard.org