Beginning this fall, the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation will pay for the cost of more than 4,500 students to take either the PSAT or SAT test. The move comes as a way to ensure equal access for all students to take the college entrance exam.
“Research shows us that students who take the PSAT early and more than once ultimately have higher scores,” said David Smith, EVSC superintendent. “By funding the PSAT test for eighth and ninth graders and the SAT for juniors, we are enhancing opportunities for students. Because we are providing the funding, our students will have the ability to take the test multiple times.
The PSAT and SAT are stable assessments that have been taken by students across the country for several decades. The results allow parents to see how their children are performing on a national level, not just locally or at the state level.
Another bonus, says Smith, is the fact that College Board – the company who administers both tests- has partnered with Khan Academy, a nonprofit that provides online learning resources for students. When eighth and ninth grade students take the PSAT, they will not only receive their scores, but our students will also have the opportunity to link their test results to Khan Academy to receive free, targeted learning plans to practice the skills they need.
“The Khan Academy linkage is very beneficial for our students,” Smith said. “Students will receive tailored learning resources, based on their academic performance. This should help them improve their scores on subsequent tests and improve their school work, overall. Parents, tutors and community partners who support students will now have additional resources to help our students succeed.”
In October, students in grades 8 and 9 will have the opportunity to take the PSAT test, with the cost paid by the EVSC. Then, in March, the EVSC also will fund the SAT for current 11th graders. (The state of Indiana already pays for sophomores and juniors to take the PSAT.) All tests will be taken inside the school day to ensure all students will participate in a familiar setting.