As The Tide reports, a technological leap has occurred in standardized testing with students at Richard Montgomery (RM) High School taking the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) digitally this year. Utilizing the Bluebook platform on Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) issued Chromebooks, the move to digital testing is designed to acquaint students with the computer-based format in anticipation of the SAT going digital in 2024.

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Sophomore Karla Rojas found the digital test more efficient, noting, “It was easier that it was on Chromebook…it would have taken more time on paper.” Test preparation has evolved, with resources like Khan Academy and Bluebook offering free practice tools, promoting equity among students.

RM Students Embrace the Shift to Digital PSAT Testing - Explore Online Testing Essay Topics

Despite the convenience, digitizing the PSAT poses challenges, including potential computer system errors. RM High School experienced a smooth testing process, with all students successfully completing the exam. In contrast, some MCPS high schools encountered technical issues that prevented proper test administration.

Assistant Principal Sara Baudry, who organized the PSAT at RM, mentioned the initial concerns, “There were kinks that needed to be worked out…” Ultimately, MCPS allowed individual schools to decide whether to proceed with the PSAT. RM’s proactive technology checks facilitated a seamless testing day.

The College Board, which administers the PSAT, has highlighted advantages of the digital format: the exam is easier, shorter, allows more time per question, and includes a built-in calculator. Digital tests also improve document security, reducing the likelihood of cheating.

The stakes are high for juniors taking the PSAT at RM, as top scorers may qualify as finalists for the National Merit Scholarship—a prestigious accolade that can lead to substantial college scholarships. In a recent selection, 20 MCPS students, including three from RM, earned the National Merit Scholarship.

The PSAT serves as more than just a pathway to scholarships; it’s a critical tool for SAT preparation.

“The PSAT gives you a prediction of how you would do at this point, but lets you know what you should work on before you actually take the SAT.”

Ms. Baudry

This practical approach underscores the test’s preparatory nature rather than its determinative role in college admissions.

Discuss Online Testing Possibilities in an Essay

Taking tests on a computer is a big change for students at Richard Montgomery High School, and it’s a sign of how classrooms and tests are moving online. This new digital world of learning has lots of interesting points to talk about. Whether it’s wondering if everyone gets a fair shot at these online tests or how they might make students feel, there’s a lot to explore. Let’s dive into these topics and see what this shift towards screens and keyboards means for everyone in school.

Essay TopicDescription
The Transition to Digital Standardized Testing: Risks and RewardsDiscuss the potential benefits and challenges of moving standardized tests like the PSAT to a digital format.
Digital Divide: Equity in Online TestingExplore how the shift to online testing may affect students differently based on access to technology and internet.
The Future of SATs: Predicting Changes and Preparing StudentsAnalyze how the shift to digital SATs may change the way students prepare for and approach these critical exams.
The Role of Technology in Standardized TestingInvestigate the increasing role of technology in testing and its implications for educators, students, and administrators.
The Impact of Digital Testing on Test Preparation IndustriesExamine how the digitalization of tests like the PSAT and SAT is affecting the test prep industry and tutoring services.
Online Learning and Testing: A New Era of EducationConsider the broader implications of the rise of online learning and testing for the future landscape of education.
Cybersecurity and Online Testing: Safeguarding Academic IntegrityDiscuss the importance of cybersecurity in online testing and the measures needed to ensure the integrity of these exams.
Online Testing Interfaces: Usability and AccessibilityDelve into the design of online testing platforms, focusing on their usability and accessibility for all students.
Digital Testing: A Solution to Cheating in Standardized Exams?Argue whether digital testing can effectively reduce cheating and uphold the integrity of standardized exams.
The Psychological Effects of Online Testing on StudentsExplore how the experience of online testing may affect students’ stress levels and performance compared to paper tests.


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