Students Turn the PSAT Into Meme Scenes
November 16, 2015 • 1,813 views
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You’re trapped in a room full of your peers with nothing but the sound of pencils scratching, papers turning, and the monotone voice of a proctor droning on in the background. You cannot believe that you’re taking the PSAT again. As you read the barely interesting passages, something catches your eye. “…the Texas Longhorn of dinosaurs,” you mutter to yourself. That’s something you’ll definitely find on the internet later.
To cope with taking the PSAT this year, many students found solace in finding items in the passages and questions to make fun of once the test was over. If you’re anything like the approximate 3.5 million students taking the test every year, chances are, you’ll head to the internet to post these jokes.
These inside jokes are called “memes,” and for anyone unfamiliar with the term, it’s an idea or joke that’s spread across social media platforms or by word-of-mouth. These ideas are usually about pop culture items or viral concepts. They have very short punchlines, and variations of them can be made from the same topic.
When it comes to the PSAT, this trend of meme-making “officially” started a year ago when, despite promising not to discuss it, reddit user NO_USERNAMES_FREE prodded other users in the teenage community to “illegally discuss the PSAT.” What followed was a bunch of speculation, answer sharing, and meme creation. This spread all over social media, and is indicative of why this year, despite the actual test itself, PSAT takers everywhere were excited to see what memes could be made this year.
Compared to last year, the memes this year just didn’t have the same nostalgic feeling. In 2014, a few memes were the mandatory cursive when signing your silence agreement, the fact that proctors could “destroy” your test if you left the testing building or broke any rules, and for good measure, dolphins, the grand canyon, and crimson leaves…falling.
This year, test-takers were met with some of those problems fixed; no more cursive, and no talk of destruction. Some memes this year were the calculator section being easier than the no calculator section, talking about test material when everyone signed the test saying that they wouldn’t, and for more good measure, no one understanding why you would buy 25 cookies and 21 water bottles for $45, even if your name is Thad.
The most interesting part of the meme scene is the fact that the “PSAT fandom,” as it’s called, is just a big inside joke. Every year, only sophomores and juniors take the test, and those two years are the only times you’ll be able to understand the memes. It’s a revolving door of new meme machines coming into the PSAT fandom and going out gracefully. Even for people who didn’t take the test, it’s a very popular topic, and these factors are what may lead to years of PSAT memes to come, whether or not College Board approves.
Sure, these memes may seem seditious, but College Board succeeded in one thing by making the test as ridiculously hilarious as they did: they got millions of students to want to take the PSAT, and encourage others to do the same, even if it’s just for quick cool points on the internet.