Memes go viral in wake of 2019 PSAT


Story by Maura Nowak, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, October 16, hundreds of high school students across the country sat down to take the PSAT. Only hours later, the hashtag #psatmemes was trending on Twitter.

The tweets ranged in content, from conveying students’ test-induced anxiety to reactions of the actual content on the test itself.  Seniors also took to Twitter to express their disappointment in not understanding this year’s PSAT references, which, although vague, were specific enough to only be relevant to the 2019 PSAT.

Another subcategory of tweets was dedicated entirely to the College Board, with many users joking about blocking the official Twitter account, @CollegeBoard, for the sake of their well-being. But why was this precaution necessary?

Along with the many rows of fill-in bubbles, the PSAT answer packet also included a confidentiality agreement, which all test-takers had to sign before they could proceed. This agreement stated that students wouldn’t discuss any of the content on the test amongst themselves or even online. Memes shared on Twitter, while not explicitly spreading the questions and answers, are still in violation of that agreement.

Yet, students still post their tweets, sometimes gaining hundreds of likes and retweets, all while praying that the organization won’t find and cancel their test scores.

Are these PSAT memes truly a harmless way for teens to have fun and connect over a common experience? Or, as the College Board believes, a dangerous infringement on the confidentiality policy of standardized tests?

As user Anna (@bananadaccache) tweeted, “Nothing unites high schoolers than the memes that are borne out of the PSAT and honestly, it’s beautiful.”