The student run newspaper of Poolesville High School

The Poolesville Pulse

The student run newspaper of Poolesville High School

The Poolesville Pulse

The student run newspaper of Poolesville High School

The Poolesville Pulse

MOCO High School students participate in first online PSAT


For the first time ever, the PSAT was taken digitally, creating changes for students and staff alike.

All Montgomery County high schools participated in the PSAT in the 52 years it has been available, this year being the first time it was offered online. Some schools encountered technological difficulties with the Bluebook application, including Northwood, Sherwood, Einstein, Magruder, Churchill, and Blake, whose tests were postponed until Tuesday, Oct. 24. However, Poolesville was not among those schools and could fully administer and complete the test. The online test still posed some different situations for everyone involved, including Wi-Fi issues.

“One student was disconnected from the WiFi during the test, which caused complications when submitting her test. I didn’t know how to solve this, but Ms. Hackey was able to help the student,” said math teacher Ms. Kyle Lao. 

Other than that, Lao’s concerns, in terms of difficulties, were the setup, which she said ended up only occurring in students who were absent when setting up a preliminary setup process. Students from all schools were to complete this setup a few days before the test. It was on Bluebook and ran through the available tools and site-navigation tips for students.

IT systems specialist, Mrs. Katie Hackey noted that she received a problem-solving document from the College Board in preparation for the test. However, she found that the use of the document was minimal as only a few students needed to borrow spare Chromebooks or chargers, and other technology issues from students were rare. Those involved in proctoring the test were provided with troubleshooting information ahead of time, so Hackey found her help wasn’t needed as frequently as she predicted. 

“It was…easier to maneuver and having it online was just a mental relief,” said junior Amogh Satish. 

Students were required to be more self-sufficient this year, considering they were supposed to use their own chromebooks, and each student had an individual timer displayed on the test screen, making it less work for proctors as they didn’t have to monitor students as much as previous years. 

The test differed for the grade levels with the PSAT 8/9 being for 8th and 9th-grade students, the PSAT 10 for 10th-graders, and PSAT/NMSQT for 11th-graders.

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Alex Sosna
Alex Sosna, Staff Writer
Alex Sosna a junior in Global. Her favorite song is “Surf” by Mac Miller and one fun fact about her is that she has watched The Office five times.

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