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The age of online testing

The age of online testing
Ronin McCracken ’26

Starting this year, the PSAT will be exclusively digital. This is to help with the huge workload of counting and grading all the physical tests and will end up being a whole lot more convenient for students and teachers alike, according to assistant principal Cindy Parravano.

The online version is intended to be more easily navigable for students due to new features such as a built in calculator. Math teacher Alexa McConaghy supports this action and echoes that this change will make things easier.“The results will be back so much faster, rather than when we had to do things on paper and mail them in and get them scored, ” McConaghy said.

As most teachers are aware, with all of the resources students have today, cheating is something that is bound to be attempted. English teacher Shannon Sugamele shares this opinion and supports the idea that students will definitely try to take the easy way out.“Just knowing students and the life that students today have grown up with, where everything’s accessible at your fingertips,”Sugamele said. “I do think that there will be students who attempt to cheat on it.”

This shift in testing has been in the works for a while and will finally be done with Blue Book, an app made by College Board, the same organization that directly supports and helps students with many different tests to prepare them for college. This app will allow students to take practice tests and see where they might need to improve before the PSAT, according to Parravano.“Blue Book has some practice sessions on there that you can take practice sessions, you can do as many practice sessions as you want, ” Parravano said. “But it won’t score it for you, you just kind of get familiar with what style of question they are going to ask.”

Even with all of these brand new tools for students and teachers to employ, everyone must recognize that this is still very new and it will take some time to get comfortable with this big transition.“I think it’s gonna be a big culture shift for students taking the exam,” Sugamele said. “And I think that it’s going to come with a lot of challenges before it becomes simple.”

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About the Contributor
Ronin McCracken ’26, Staff Writer
Drawing. Painting. Printmaking. Photography. After a summer spent unleashing his creativity through every possible medium, Ronin McCracken ’26 is ready to take on a brand new one: journalism. As a first year staff writer for The Tower, McCracken isn’t sure what he wants to write just yet, but he’s looking forward to voicing his thoughts in opinion stories in the coming year. “If I see a story that I like, I’ll just try to do that the best I can,” McCracken said. When he isn’t making art or chasing down his next big story, McCracken can be found with a controller in hand, fighting his way out of yet another Mortal Kombat chapter beside his closest friends. An avid gamer for many years, McCracken said he can hardly remember a time without a console. “I remember having a Wii when I was really little,” McCracken said. “We still have it, but it’s not even usable anymore. That was probably the first time I ever played a video game--I don’t even know how young.”

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