All sophomores in the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) on October 19, 2016. The PSAT prepares students for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), required by many colleges and universities prior to admission, and it generates information that guides students to enroll in rigorous courses while still in high school. This District-wide initiative is made possible through the support of the Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation.

2016firstgen“In addition to awarding scholarships to Livermore students, the Pedrozzi Foundation is working to help create a career- and college-bound culture among all Livermore students and families – especially those in underrepresented and underserved communities,” said Carolyn Siegfried, Executive Director of the Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation.

Funding by the Pedrozzi Foundation has dramatically increased access to the PSAT. Participation has grown from 168 tenth graders in 2012, to 954 tenth graders in 2015. “This tremendous increase includes engaging learners who may have been underrepresented in the past, and preparing them for the pathway to college. The Foundation’s support has led to significant increases in the numbers of Hispanic students and African American students taking the PSAT,” said Amy Robbins, LVUSD Director of Curriculum. Siegfried added, “Pedrozzi is proud of our ongoing partnership with the school district to fund PSAT testing for all sophomores. The PSAT Initiative is an effective tool for engaging all students earlier with the college and career planning process.”

Students receive a range of benefits as a result of participating in the PSAT as sophomores. The College Board analyzes each student’s results in order to identify areas of academic strength, and generates “Advanced Placement (AP) Potential” letters that identify college-level courses in which the student might excel. Participating students also activate a College Board account which includes a host of college admission resources.

“We value our partnership with the Pedrozzi Foundation, as we have found that this early preparation has increased the performance results on the SAT,” said Robbins. “The LVJUSD graduating class of 2015, which took the PSAT as a sophomore or junior, received higher scores in all areas of the SAT – Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing,” said Heidi Novell, Assessment Technician for the School District.

The PSAT is also the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). LVJUSD sophomores practice with the PSAT/NMSQT and then are strongly encouraged to take the test again during their junior year for additional SAT preparation and to be entered into the National Merit Scholarship competition, which is available only to juniors.